Competing Wind Energy Discourses, Contested Landscapes

  • Markus Leibenath Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1, rmany, Dresden, 01217, German
  • Antje Otto University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, rmany, Potsdam-Golm, 14476, Germany
Keywords: Local energy politics, Poststructuralist discourse theory, Social construction of landscapes


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.

How to Cite
Leibenath, M.; Otto, A. Competing Wind Energy Discourses, Contested Landscapes. LO 2014, 38, 1-18.
Research Article