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The Politics of Estonia's Offshore Wind Energy Programme: Discourse, power and marine spatial planning
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik, Miljövetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2264-6892
University of Essex, UK.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-6448-0379
De Montfort University, UK.
2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: Environment and Planning. C, Government and Policy, ISSN 0263-774X, E-ISSN 1472-3425, Vol. 37, nr 1, s. 157-176Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

There is growing recognition that marine spatial planning is an inherently political process marked by a clash of discourses, power and conflicts of interest. Yet, there are very few attempts to make sense of and explain the political practices of marine spatial planning protests in different contexts, especially the way that planners and developers create the conditions for the articulation of objections, and then develop new strategies to negotiate and mediate community resistance. Using poststructuralist discourse theory, the article analyses the politics of a proposed offshore wind energy project in Estonia within the context of the country’s marine spatial planning processes. First, through the lens of politicization, it explores the strategies of political mobilization and the rival discourses of expertise and sustainability through which residents and municipal actors have contested the offshore wind energy project. Secondly, through the lens of depoliticization, it explains the discursive and legalistic strategies employed by developers, planners and an Administrative Court to displace – spatially and temporally – the core issues of contestation, thus legitimizing the offshore wind energy plan. We argue that the spaces created by the preplanning conjuncture offered the most conducive conditions for residents to voice concerns about the proposed project in a dialogical fashion, whereas the marine spatial planning and post-planning phases became mired in a therapeutic-style consultation, set alongside rigid and unreflexive interpretations and applications of legality. We conclude by setting out the limits of the Estonian marine spatial planning as a process for resolving conflicts, while offering an alternative model of handling such public controversies, which we call pragmatic adversarialism.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Sage Publications, 2019. Vol. 37, nr 1, s. 157-176
Nyckelord [en]
Marine spatial planning, politicization and depoliticization, discourse theory and power, offshore wind energy conflict, discourses and resistance strategies
Nationell ämneskategori
Miljövetenskap
Forskningsämne
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning; Miljövetenskapliga studier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34961DOI: 10.1177/2399654418778037ISI: 000458856000008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047821963Lokalt ID: 2186/3.1.1/2014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34961DiVA, id: diva2:1205840
Projekt
BaltSpace
Ingår i projekt
Marine Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea Region – Integrating Scales, Sectors and Knowledge, Östersjöstiftelsen
Forskningsfinansiär
Östersjöstiftelsen, 27/2014BONUS - Science for a better future of the Baltic Sea regionForskningsrådet FormasTillgänglig från: 2018-05-15 Skapad: 2018-05-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-02-24Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. The “Dark Side” of Marine Spatial Planning: A study of domination, empowerment and freedom through theories of discourse and power
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The “Dark Side” of Marine Spatial Planning: A study of domination, empowerment and freedom through theories of discourse and power
2019 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to contribute to the marine spatial planning (MSP) literature by elaborating a robust theoretical account of power for a more rigorous and balanced critical analysis of MSP. Conceived as a problem-solving regime, MSP has emerged as a radical approach to govern the use and protection of marine resources. However, critics are questioning the radicalness of MSP, particularly its ability to address issues around knowledge, stakeholder and land-sea integration, as well as power asymmetry, distributive justice and equity. Nonetheless, critics largely conceive power in MSP as restricting agency. Even so, insidious mechanisms of power remain under-examined, as are the productive power and potential of planning. This thesis brings concepts from discourse and power theories together (drawing on Foucault, Laclau and Mouffe, and Haugaard) to conceptualize various mechanisms of power in MSP. The framework is then brought into dialogue with planning issues in Estonia and Poland. Empirical data are drawn from semi-structured interviews, legal judgments, planning and policy documents, as well as position papers and media statements, which are produced by planners, officials, developers, fishers and coastal residents. The following findings and conclusions are reached. First, MSP’ing (verb form) restricts agency because (a) in planning encounters, powerful actors misuse opportunities for concerted action to reach sectoral rather than collective goals; (b) in setting the agenda, various biases are mobilized in favor of vested interests; and (c) the fantasmatic power of planning conjoin with the planner’s cognitive limitation to naturalize and sustain subjugation. Second, MSP is a laudable system. It provides stakeholders with the dispositional power to get things done in concert, which entails a normatively felicitous move from the risks of open commons-type conflicts and chaos to structuring and predictability. Third, when planning is rigidly done within the confines of legality and programmatic norms, “free” subjects of planning may be transformed into immovable subjects of resistance, who may develop contestatory strategies that have transformatory potentials. Fourth, to both facilitate equitable planning processes and outcomes, and ensure efficiency and stability, not only must the planner be reflective of the norms and ideologies that shape her actions and/or inactions, but the state as the ultimate governing authority in MSP must also take measures to minimize asymmetries in the distribution of social resources. The thesis makes a call for scholars to contribute towards planning praxis through analyzing who the weakest actors are in each MSP setting, what their context-specific needs are, and what empowerment may entail for them.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2019. s. 180
Serie
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 164
Nyckelord
marine spatial planning; discourse; power; domination; empowerment; freedom; conflict; resistance; small-scale fisheries; offshore wind energy
Nationell ämneskategori
Miljövetenskap
Forskningsämne
Miljövetenskapliga studier; Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38051 (URN)2186/3.1.1/2014 (Lokalt ID)978-91-88663-67-2 (ISBN)978-91-88663-68-9 (ISBN)2186/3.1.1/2014 (Arkivnummer)2186/3.1.1/2014 (OAI)
Disputation
2019-05-29, MA624, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Projekt
BaltSpace
Tillgänglig från: 2019-05-08 Skapad: 2019-04-25 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-05-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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