Re-visiting the 'Social Gap': Public Opinion and Relations of Power in the Local Politics of Wind Energy

D. Bell, T. Gray, C. Haggett, J. Swaffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Our widely cited 2005 explanatory framework for considering public responses to wind farm developments distinguished two gaps: a 'social gap' between the high support for wind energy reported in surveys and the low success rate for wind farm applications; and an 'individual gap' whereby an individual supports wind energy in general but opposes a local wind farm (NIMBYism). The popular assumption that NIMBYism was the only explanation for the 'social gap' was contested. Instead, three explanations of the social gap were provided - democratic deficit, qualified support, and NIMBYism - and a range of different policy responses was suggested. This analysis is re-visited in order to take account of the theoretical and empirical developments since its publication. The original explanatory framework is expanded and revised and new conclusions are drawn about the likely causes of the 'social gap'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date13 Feb 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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