Shale energy development is an issue of global importance. The number of reserves globally, and their potential economic return, have increased dramatically in the past decade. Questions abound, however, about the appropriate governance systems to manage the risks of unconventional oil and gas development and the ability for citizens to engage and participate in decisions regarding these systems. Stakeholder participation is essential for the social and political legitimacy of energy extraction and production, what the industry calls a 'social license' to operate.

This book attempts to bring together critical themes inherent in the energy governance literature and illustrate them through cases in multiple countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, South Africa, Germany and Poland. These themes include how multiple actors and institutions – industry, governments and regulatory bodies at all scales, communities, opposition movements, and individual landowners – have roles in developing, contesting, monitoring, and enforcing practices and regulations within unconventional oil and gas development. Overall, the book proposes a systemic, participatory, community-led approach required to achieve a form of legitimacy that allows communities to derive social priorities by a process of community visioning.

This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy-makers with an interest in shale gas development, and energy policy and governance.

chapter 1|20 pages


Governing shale gas

part I|94 pages

Regulatory development and property rights

chapter 2|14 pages

Regulating unconventional shale gas development in the United States

Diverging priorities, overlapping jurisdictions, and asymmetrical data access

chapter 3|14 pages

A complex adaptive system or just a tangled mess?

Property rights and shale gas governance in Australia and the US

chapter 4|15 pages

Governing unconventional legacies

Lessons from the coalbed methane boom in Wyoming

chapter 6|15 pages

Experimental regulatory approaches for unconventional gas

The case of urban drilling and local government authority in Texas

chapter 7|17 pages

The role of multi-state River Basin Commissions in shale gas governance systems

A comparative analysis of the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin Commissions in the Marcellus Shale region

part II|96 pages

Information, communication, scientific assessment and public participation

chapter 8|13 pages

Unlikely allies against fracking

Networks of resistance against shale gas development in Poland

chapter 13|13 pages

Fracking communities, fractured communication

Information transfer and transparency of the energy industry

part 211III|77 pages

Actor networks, participation and social justice

chapter 14|14 pages

Shale gas governance in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe

Public participation and the role of social justice

chapter 15|15 pages

Shale gas development in England

A tale of two mineral planning authorities

chapter 16|14 pages

Community understanding of risk from fracking in the UK and Poland

How democracy-based and justice-based concerns amplify risk perceptions

chapter 17|16 pages

Seeking common ground in contested energy technology landscapes

Insights from a Q-methodology study

chapter 18|16 pages

Scientized and sanitized

Shale gas in the context of New Brunswick’s political history