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Exploring the role of the state in the depoliticisation of UK transport policy

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This paper responds to calls for greater empirical investigation of the interrelationships between depoliticisation and repoliticisation processes. It does so by applying the ‘three faces’ (governmental, societal and discursive) organising perspective to a longitudinal analysis of transport policy in the UK. This case is important because acceptance of the current dominant policy solution ‐ infrastructure spending ‐ appears to have come full circle over a 30-year period. The research finds that today’s focus on infrastructure is enabled through intersecting and reinforcing depoliticisation processes, supporting the ‘three faces’ perspective. However, the paper also highlights the need for greater recognition of the state as a meta-governor of depoliticisation and the need for clarity on which aspect of a policy solution or problem (or the connections between them) is being depoliticised and repoliticised to better elucidate politicisation processes.
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Keywords: depoliticisation; governance; meta-governance; policy solutions; repoliticisation; state; transport policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham, UK 2: University of Leeds, UK

Publication date: April 2020

This article was made available online on November 12, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Exploring the role of the state in the depoliticisation of UK transport policy".

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