Conflicting Discourses of Knowledge: understanding the policy adoption of pro-burning knowledge claims in Cape York Peninsula, Australia

David Ockwell and Yvonne Rydin (2005)
Published in Environmental Politics (2006)


Using as a case study the dominant pro-burning policy paradigm in Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia, this paper examines how knowledge claims become adopted in environmental policy. Stakeholder views in Cape York are polarised between pro and anti discourses regarding anthropogenic burning, each with their own contested knowledge claims. This paper carries out a discourse analysis of stakeholder views on the use of fire and enhances this with detailed stakeholder consultation and policy analysis. Through this it demonstrates how an examination of the discursive nature of the conflicts and alliances among different knowledge- holders within an environmental policy debate can provide a powerful heuristic approach to fully understanding how contested knowledge claims become accredited and established in policy.

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