Conflicted Energy Transition—Conception of a Theoretical Framework for Its Investigation

Olaf Kühne, Debi Parush, Deborah Shmueli, Corinna Jenal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy transition plays a central role in efforts to reduce anthropogenic global warming. However, energy transition involves physical manifestations, for example in the form of wind turbines, photovoltaic plants, and power lines, which trigger resistance, especially among those who live in the vicinity of the (planned) plants. The reasons for this resistance are complex, as they relate to residents’ emotional ties and/or stereotypical common-sense expectations of landscape. The complexity of landscape conflicts in general, and energy transition-related conflicts in particular, makes it difficult to capture the intricacy of the subject matter by means of a single theoretical perspective. To address this difficulty, a neopragmatic approach of identifying and combining appropriate theoretical perspectives is utilized to develop an analytic framework for understanding these conflicts. To this end, we draw on Dahrendorf’s conflict theory and the framing approach. Both have high complementary explanatory potential and empirical applicability, with the framing approach broadening the theoretical prism to include micro-individuals and groups to Dahrendorf’s meso-social perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Conflict theory
  • Dahrendorf
  • Energy transition
  • Framing approach
  • Landscape
  • Neopragmatic landscape theory
  • Neopragmatism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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