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Mobile policies and policy streams: the case of smart metering policy in Australia


Lovell, H, Mobile policies and policy streams: the case of smart metering policy in Australia, Geoforum, 81 pp. 100-108. ISSN 0016-7185 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.02.011


Geographers have become increasingly engaged with the notion of policy mobility. It is argued that in a globalised world policies have become more internationally mobile: we now live in an era of ‘fast policy’. Drawing on core concepts of mobility, neoliberalisation, and globalisation - and with a background primarily in geography and urban studies - policy mobility scholars have developed new ideas about how policies circulate internationally. In the process, however, theories of policy change developed within political science have been rather overlooked. In this paper it is shown how a political science theory with a shared interest in flows – the Multiple Streams Approach (MSA) – is complementary to policy mobilities scholarship. Two issues in particular are illuminated by the MSA: first, what constitutes policy, and, second, the role of the nation state in structuring the possibilities for, and timing of, policy change. In turn, policy mobilities scholarship highlights the different geographies of the multitude of objects, ideas, problems, processes, organisations, and regulations that constitute policy. It also raises questions about the validity of analytically separating politics from policy proposals, as advocated by the MSA. These issues are considered using the empirical case of smart electricity metering policy in Australia, in the period 2000–2015.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:policy mobility, smart meters, multiple streams approach, MSA, policy change, policy window, Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Human geography not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy storage, distribution and supply
Objective Field:Smart grids
UTAS Author:Lovell, H (Professor Heather Lovell)
ID Code:116058
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT140100646)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-28
Last Modified:2021-11-03

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