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Stakeholder perspectives of the Social Licence to Operate: exploring the governance of shale gas development in England

Mummery, Charlotte Emma


Charlotte Emma Mummery


Ludivine Petetin

Liam Herringshaw


The aim of this research is to investigate the governance of Shale Gas Development (SDG) in England to determine how stakeholders perceive the regulatory regime, regulators and how they understand the associated risks and benefits. The three key research questions are: How do stakeholders of SDG frame their perceptions of risk; which aspects, if any, are important for stakeholders to issue a SLO to the shale gas industry and; to what extent do stakeholders of SGD perceive the regulatory regime in England to be adequate.
Using a case study research design, this research investigates the Social Licence to Operate (SLO) and governance in two key SGD areas of England, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Semi-structured interviews with participants drew on a multitude of factors when forming perceptions of the
risks and benefits associated with SGD, pro-SGD participants frame their perceptions based on quantitative risk assessment methodologies, anti-SGD participants use their personal experience of the industry. This research examines which are the important factors regarding the issuance of SLO from a community perspective.
This thesis contributes to knowledge in the following ways; by highlighting the importance of understanding stakeholders’ perceptions and framing of risk, by considering how and why communities grant the SLO and to recognise that local communities consider the effectiveness of other aspects of the operation in addition to the activities of the industry. It is therefore helpful to consider the ‘granting of’ the SLO by the community rather than ‘gaining’ a SLO by the industry.
Limitations for this research include, despite efforts, no representation from key regulatory agencies such as the HSE and the local authorities in Lancashire or Yorkshire. More demographic data would have been desirable, such as participants employment information and educational
attainment in order to ascertain the connection between knowledge and understanding of the issues discussed.


Mummery, C. E. (2022). Stakeholder perspectives of the Social Licence to Operate: exploring the governance of shale gas development in England. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2023
Keywords Geography
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, The University of Hull
Award Date Apr 1, 2022


Thesis (4.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2022 Mummery, Charlotte Emma. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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