Qualification project

Scaling-Up Contention: The Power of Anti-Wind Movements and Sub-National Government Responses in Brandenburg, Germany, and Ontario, Canada

Research Department: Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods

IRS Research Topic: Forms and Implications of Spatial Governance New Social Practices

Project Leader within IRS: Andrea Bues

Duration: 10/2014 - 03/2018


Wind energy is seen as a key technology to achieve climate change objectives and stimulate rural economies. Therefore, many countries support the development of wind turbines. Germany is in this respect among the leading countries and is often regarded as a role model. In North America, the Canadian province of Ontario is an example of how the development of wind energy has been driven by a specific political framework following the European example. However, wind energy development in Ontario, as well as in parts of Germany such as the federal state of Brandenburg, has increasingly met with strong local opposition of concerned citizens. The literature has studied numerous underlying factors regarding the social acceptance of renewable energy facilities, however, there is unclarity about the role of (political) power and discourses in new energy spaces. The dissertation project thus focused on the role that discourse dynamics play in disputes over wind turbines.


New wind-power projects have been a regular cause of local protest in recent times. But what determines whether resistance forms and how movements opposing wind power operate? Are only the local conditions and circumstances of particular projects decisive factors, or does the respective national context – such as political debate, or specific systems of regulation – also play a role? Andrea Bues has been examining this issue, comparing anti-wind movements in Brandenburg and in the Canadian province of Ontario. Her book “Social Movements against Wind Power in Canada and Germany: Energy Policy and Contention” has now been published by Routledge. more info


Bues, A. (2018). Scaling-up Contention: The Power of Anti-wind Movements and Sub-national Government Responses in Brandenburg, Germany and Ontario, Canada: Dissertation. Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin.
Bues, A. (2018). Planning, Protest, and Contentious Politics: The Governance of Wind Energy in Brandenburg and Ontario. disP: The Planning Review, 54(4), 34-45. DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1562796
Bues, A. (2020). Social Movements against Wind Power in Canada and Germany: Energy Policy and Contention. (Routledge Studies in Energy Policy). Abingdon: Routledge.