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Meaning making and the policy process: The case of green infrastructure planning in the Republic of Ireland

Lennon, Michael 2013. Meaning making and the policy process: The case of green infrastructure planning in the Republic of Ireland. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Prior to 2008, reference to green infrastructure (GI) in Irish planning, advocacy and guidance documentation had been limited. However, by November 2011, GI was referenced in statutory guidance at national, regional and local levels, while also enjoying reference in many non-statutory planning policy and advocacy documents. This thesis seeks to examine and explain the processes which facilitated the rapid emergence, evolutionary trajectory and institutionalisation of GI planning policy in Ireland. Specifically, the investigation seeks to critically examine why and how GI was introduced, interpreted and advanced in planning policy formulation in Ireland between November 2008 and November 2011. Situated within the field of interpretive policy analysis, the thesis adopts a discourse centred approach focused on the context sensitive constitution of the ‘meaning(s)’ of GI. The potential implications of such meaning(s) are also examined. The research involves extensive documentary analysis of both Irish and international planning policy related material. The investigation also involves the analysis of semi-structured interviews with 52 interviewees from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Information obtained from participant observation at 2 planning workshops is scrutinised. The thesis provides a number of original empirical and theoretical contributions to knowledge. This is achieved by presenting a critical interpretive analysis of policy dynamics in a context where attention to ‘meaning-making’ is largely absent in academic literature regarding landuse planning. The research identifies, examines and discusses the influential roles played by planning rationalities, motivated agents, professional networks and timing in the dissemination and institutionalisation of a new policy initiative within Irish landuse governance. The thesis also provides a broader contribution to understandings of the policy process by presenting an innovative theoretical explanation of how representation and interpretation may shape the content, currency and consequences of policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Policy Process, Interpretive Analysis, Multiple Stream Framework, Green Infrastructure Planning, Ireland
Funders: Cardiff University School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff 125 Studentship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:05

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