Private Politics in the Garden of England

An Atypical Case of Anti–Wind Farm Contention

in Volume 5 (2017): Issue 2 (Dec 2017)
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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.

Contention

The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

in Volume 5 (2017): Issue 2 (Dec 2017)

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