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Competing Wind Energy Discourses, Contested Landscapes

Landscape Online | Volume 38 | 2014 | Pages: 1-18| DOI:10.3097/LO.201438 | Published: Oktober 13th, 2014

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Competing Wind Energy Discourses, Contested Landscapes

Markus Leibenath1, Antje Otto2

1 Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1; 01217 Dresden; Germany; +49 (0)351 4679-285; M.Leibenath@ioer.de

2 University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm; Germany; +49 (0)331 977-2542, anotto@uni-potsdam.de

The impairment of landscapes is a concern constantly raised against wind energy developments in Germany as in other countries. Often, landscapes or landscape types are treated in the literature as essentialist or at least as uncontested categories. We analyse two examples of local controversies about wind energy, in which “landscape” is employed by supporters and opponents alike, from a poststructuralist and discourse theoretical angle. The aim is to identify and compare landscape constructs produced in the micro discourses of wind energy objectors and proponents at local level (a) within each case, (b) between the two cases and (c) with landscape constructs that were previously found in macro discourses. One major finding is that several different landscapes can exist at one and the same place. Furthermore there seems to be a relatively stable set of competing landscape concepts which is reproduced in specific controversies. The paper concludes by highlighting practical consequences and by identifying promising avenues of further research.

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