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The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Western Europe$
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Wolfgang C. Müller and Paul W. Thurner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747031.001.0001

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The Conflict over Nuclear Energy

The Conflict over Nuclear Energy

Public Opinion, Protest Movements, and Green Parties in Comparative Perspective

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 The Conflict over Nuclear Energy
Source:
The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Western Europe
Author(s):
Paul W. Thurner

Sylvain Brouard

Martin Dolezal

Isabelle Guinaudeau

Swen Hutter

, Wolfgang C. Müller
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198747031.003.0004

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.

Keywords:   anti-nuclear movements, Green parties, public opinion, nuclear energy, political parties

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