Accepted paper:

Sustainability, Capabilities, and Power: Building a Framework to Analyse Business-Community Relations in Mexico's Wind Energy Sector


Paola Velasco Herrejon (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

By bringing together Sen's capability approach and Gaventa's method to power analysis, this paper presents a framework for analysing power dynamics that underlie citizens' roles in indigenous localities and the actions of international corporations within Mexico's developing wind energy sector

Paper long abstract:

By bringing together Sen's Capability Approach (Sen 1985, 1999, 2009) and Gaventa's method to power analysis, also known as the "power cube" (Gaventa 2006), this paper attempts to present an evolving and flexible research design that combines qualitative and quantitative methods to collect information of differing stakeholders perceptions about public engagement and governance decisions in the wind energy sector. To make this case, this paper will first contextualise wind farm social opposition in developing countries and provide an overview of current methodologies that aim at assessing community engagement in this context. Subsequently, the paper will present a mixed-methods design that employs Sen's concepts of agency and capabilities to understand individual's perceptions of well-being of all actors that have a stake in wind energy planning, and introduces Gaventa's Power Cube as a tool to analyse associative aspects, such as power dynamics that may be constraining or enhancing local communities valued ways of public engagement. The paper will finally outline the main findings that resulted of employing this mixed-methods approach in a Case Study in Southern Mexico.

panel B05
Looking at inequalities as asymmetric power relations within green transformations (Paper)