The Frankenstein story of Denmark’s wind power market: The socio-material (re)birth of a social movement for and against wind power

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This paper describes the socio-material (re)birth of a social movement, which once helped to mobilize the Danish socio-technical market assemblage around wind power deployment, but which now, paradoxically, aims to kill – or re-settle – what it once sowed the seeds for. Born out of a socio-material ‘paradigm shift’ in Danish wind power, Danish wind power has been transformed from ‘people-driven’ and cooperatively owned to industrialised wind power development. In the process of becoming big business, the social movement co-operatives that were once central to the sector, have been marginalised. Drawing on marketization studies in Science & Technology Studies, the paper conducts a controversy study by inquiring into a particular case of a contested wind farm development. In so doing, we display the ongoing market struggles and negotiations over the power and space to define what a ‘sustainable’ development of the Danish wind power socio-technical assemblage implies, as well as over the right to play a role in the transition to renewable energy. It does so by inquiring into controversies unfolding over ‘what counts’ as sustainable development of Denmark’s wind power market, and inquiring into the mobilization practices of social movement actors. In bringing the marketization lens together with Social Movement Theory, we contribute to both fields, in the area of sustainability transitions. Firstly, we trace how the concerned market of wind power in Denmark is being co-shaped by social movements contesting the current socio-technical assemblage, and secondly we shed light on the role of materiality in mobilizing support for the cause of the emerging social movement. Based on the findings, we argue for furthering the current surge in inquiries into the role of social movements in sustainability transitions, and to do so through a marketization lens.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event36th EGOS Colloquium
- Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 2 Jul 20204 Jul 2020


Conference36th EGOS Colloquium


  • Socio-technical assemblage
  • Social movements
  • Wind power
  • Denmark
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Contestation


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