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The Politics of Estonia's Offshore Wind Energy Programme: Discourse, power and marine spatial planning
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2264-6892
University of Essex, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6448-0379
De Montfort University, UK.
2018 (English)In: Environment and Planning. C, Government and Policy, ISSN 0263-774X, E-ISSN 1472-3425Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Marine spatial planning, politicization and depoliticization, discourse theory and power, offshore wind energy conflict, discourses and resistance strategies
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34961DOI: 10.1177/2399654418778037Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047821963OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34961DiVA, id: diva2:1205840
Available from: 2018-05-15 Created: 2018-05-15 Last updated: 2018-11-19Bibliographically approved

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tafon et al. 2018(668 kB)27 downloads
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Tafon, Ralph Voma

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