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Citizens’ initiatives in the context of Germany’s power grid expansion: A micro-econometric evaluation of their effects on members’ protest behavior

  • Policymakers and transmission system operators frequently face problems when planning and constructing new high-voltage transmission lines because of opposition among local residents. Protest varies due to attributes of the transmission lines (e.g., length and size), site-specific characteristics, and the extent of consternation among local residents. The most controversially discussed grid expansion project in Germany is the SuedLink, which has been causing severe protest among groups of local residents. One driver of public opposition is the existence of local citizens’ initiatives. These groups play an important role, for example by influencing the public debate, taking legal action, or mobilizing their members and other citizens into protest. In doing so, they can cause delays due to confrontational planning and approval procedures. In order to deal with these risks, decision-makers need to know about the actual effects of citizens’ initiatives on public protest. So far, however, empirical research on these effects has been sparse. This study contributes to filling this gap by considering one specific aspect of the influence of citizens’ initiatives. It isolates the causal effects of citizens’ initiative membership on members’ individual protest behavior in the context of the SuedLink. Controlling for various potential confounders, our results clearly indicate that the probability of performing protest behavior and the intensity of protest are substantially larger for members of citizens’ initiatives than for non-members.

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Author:Christoph E. Müller, Silke I. Keil
Parent Title (German):Zeitschrift für Energiewirtschaft
Place of publication:Wiesbaden
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung
Release Date:2019/09/17
Popular scientific document:Nein
Reviewed Document?:Ja
First Page:101
Last Page:116
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG – es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht