Private Politics in the Garden of England

An Atypical Case of Anti–Wind Farm Contention

in Contention
Restricted access

Abstract

This article analyzes an atypical case of anti–wind farm contention at Marden in southeast England. anti–wind farm campaigns have typically sought to resist developments through planning institutions. Although it focused on planning, the Marden campaign successfully pursued a “private politics” strategy, pressuring businesses (e.g., developer, investors, landowner) to withdraw their support and commitment. Drawing on ten semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and extensive documentary analysis, this article describes and explains this atypical case. Marden’s private politics involved strategic framing that aligned with businesses’ claims to corporate social and environmental responsibility. Although direct attempts to persuade companies on these terms failed, when the campaign “went public” economic actors withdrew support. Marden’s trajectory and outcome are explained via resources and context particular to the case, and the potential reputational damage associated with its framing strategy. The article ends by noting interesting relationships and parallels between private politics and state-focused local contention.

Contributor Notes

Matthew Ogilvie is a senior lecturer in Political Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University. His research interests include social movements, community protest, and environmentalism. His recent publications include “The Impact of Local Campaigns against Wind Energy Developments” (with Christopher Rootes, Environmental Politics, 2015) and “Occupy: In Theory and Practice” (with David Bates and Emma Pole, Critical Discourse Studies, 2016). E-mail: matthew.ogilvie@canterbury.ac.uk

Contention

The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

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