Hydraulic Fracturing Policy in the United Kingdom: Coalition, Cooperation, and Opposition in the Face of Uncertainty

  • Paul Cairney
  • Manuel Fischer
  • Karin Ingold


The UK government seems to be ‘all out for shale’, but the regulatory process is ongoing, and there remain many hurdles to pass before shale gas can be developed commercially. We try to understand the intermediate policy outcome by identifying advocacy coalitions and explaining how they share information. We identify a large, tentatively pro-exploration coalition, and a small anti-exploration coalition. The former argues that, if regulated well, drilling for shale gas is a low-risk, potentially high-return industry; the latter relies on the ‘precautionary principle’ to identify an issue with unclear risks and potentially catastrophic environmental consequences. The process has produced a UK government policy in favour of hydraulic fracturing, but it is still unclear how devolved and local actors will influence the process.


European Union Hydraulic Fracture Policy Process Coalition Member Political Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Cairney
    • 1
  • Manuel Fischer
    • 2
    • 4
  • Karin Ingold
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of History and PoliticsUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  2. 2.Institute for Political ScienceUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute for Political Science and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Social Sciences, EawagDübendorfSwitzerland

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