This article contributes to the literature on environmental policy controversies. We utilize an Argumentative Discourse Analysis (ADA)-based approachto analyze the struggle for discursive hegemony that took place between competing story-lines in the context of the acid mine drainage (AMD) environmental policy problem, located in the gold mining areas of greater Johannesburg, South Africa. With this article we make a theoretical contribution by presenting and applying an adapted ADA framework strongly focused on the operationalization of key ADA concepts. Our empirical contribution lies in providing a rich and deep analysis of an environmental policy controversy that has not yet been studied from an ADA perspective. In particular, we demonstrate and discuss the complex path to discourse institutionalization followed by the dominant emergent AMD story-line. In conclusion, we recommend steps for updating the ADA approach and developing an accompanying set of guidelines to further enable the operationalization of its concepts.
- acid mine drainage
- Argumentative discourse analysis
- discursive hegemony
- South Africa