Yet more ‘fracking’ social science: An overview of unconventional hydrocarbon development globally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this introduction to the special issue on ‘social aspects of unconventional hydrocarbon development globally’ I explain the unique contributions made by the 26 research articles contained herein. Following a discussion of why additional research on social aspects of unconventional hydrocarbon development is still useful and relevant, I concisely describe ten major themes that emerged across the range of articles presented in this issue: (1) substantial regional differences in public reactions, perceptions, and policy, (2) context dependence, (3) role of experience with prior extraction, (4) critiques of policy and regulation, (5) procedural justice deficits, (6) distributive justice issues, (7) engagement and response from industry and government, (8) characterisation of opposition and activism, (9) interaction between actors internationally, and (10) a need for a long-term view. I conclude with my thoughts on the most promising areas for future research, including longitudinal research, comparisons across less developed and more developed nations, investigations of relationships between actors from different countries, and further examination of energy justice, specifically in relation to public representation in decision making processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Extractive Industries and Society
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018


  • shale gas
  • coal seam gas
  • energy policy
  • governance
  • public perceptions
  • justice
  • activism


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