My research evaluates the contribution of political discourse theory to our understanding of the policy process, analysing, in particular, how shared meanings or institutional rules and norms emerge to ‘make sense’, privilege or constrain different democratic spaces within the policy process. Empirically, I have investigated these theoretical questions through research into two main areas of study.
Firstly, I have investigated the politics of sustainable aviation and the expansion of airports in the United Kingdom. Secondly, I have analysed the dynamics of participation in neighbourhood governance and the democratic limits of the emerging discourse of community cohesion and sustainable communities. My current research critically engages with the governance of local public services under conditions of austerity and how local politicians, officers and community activists might best mediate complex economic and social demands and manage conflicts across local communities and neighbourhoods.