The Conflict over Nuclear Energy: Public Opinion, Protest Movements, and Green Parties in Comparative Perspective

with Thurner, Paul W., Martin Dolezal, Wolfgang C. Müller, Sylvain Brouard and Isabelle Guinaudeau, in: Wolfgang C. Müller and Paul W. Thurner, 2017, Politics of Nuclear Energy in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 65-97.

This chapter provides an account of the contestation of nuclear energy in Western Europe and beyond. It presents a new compilation of comparative public opinion data on nuclear energy, original data on protest behaviour directed against nuclear energy, and a systematic account of the development of Green parties. The focus is on the covariation of these factors with the behaviour of the established political parties and system properties (Kitschelt’s ‘openness’). The main function of the chapter is to show the relative strength of the ‘natural enemies’ of nuclear energy—concerned citizens, protest movements, and Green parties—in the countries covered by case studies (and beyond, where possible) and to understand how they interact. The chapter argues that neither public opinion critical to nuclear energy nor sizeable protest behaviour is sufficient to introduce anti-nuclear policy change

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