Claims, trains and frames: the case of High Speed Two

O'Neill, Rebecca Marie (2017). Claims, trains and frames: the case of High Speed Two. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Although evidence is utilised by claims-makers to strengthen their arguments, quality evidence is not necessarily the precursor to driving or explaining policy decisions. Actors who share a common frame are more likely to perceive a policy problem and solution in the same way. Therefore, decision-making processes are not about finding the highest quality evidence to support decisions; they becomes about which actor is better at presenting a believable argument that will persuade others their claims are more agreeable.
Using a single case study design, qualitative methods are used to examine the role of evidence in the context of the construction of a new high speed rail network in the UK, High Speed Two (HS2). It examines how these actors frame the debate and how they negotiate evidence with one another in different policy environments, through a process of claims-making.
The study provides a new perspective to the High Speed Two debate, one which has received little attention in academic circles. A claims-making framework is utilised to provide a rich description of the naturalistic processes occurring in the decision-making processes of High Speed Two and it offers a sophisticated understanding of how evidence interpreted and negotiated by policy actors. In addition, it unpacks and refines notions of argumentation which acknowledges the subjective nature of evidence.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Local Government Studies
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory


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