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 semistructured
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.