Accepted Paper:

Shale gas from Pennsylvania to Żurawlow: Situating "global concerns" in the age of Internet 2.0 - Web as a tool for co-production of knowledge and solidarity in energy siting controversy  


Agata Stasik (Koźmiński University )

Paper long abstract:

The aim of the paper is to examine how the widespread access to the Internet is changing the dynamic of siting conflicts, opening new and heterogonous ways to produce knowledge and solidarity. The analysis is drawn on two chosen siting controversies occurred during first stage of shale gas prospecting in Poland, where Internet were used as a part of contrasting strategies.

Siting controversy is understood as situation when some representatives of local community contest the decision to locate certain facility, presented as vital for the interest of wider community and commonly applies to energy technologies conflicts. These conflicts usually are complex: comprise issues of equity and justice, participation and agency, transparency and trust, controversy on possible risks imposed by the facility, and different view on general development goals. What is crucial for the paper, disproportion of resources and power between local citizenry and promoter of the investment often occurs.

One of the important dimension of this disproportion consists on unequal access to information and expertise, and even more unequal potential to create message heard beyond local environment. I analyse how widespread access to the Internet and new ways Web content is created introduced a change in the situation of local citizens seeking for knowledge and support during siting conflicts, and in consequence, changes relation between investors and local community and allows local activists to by-pass national discussion by picking and choosing from the pool of facts, viewpoints and framings accessible in the Web, coming from different national and regulatory contexts.

Panel L4
Energy controversies and technology conflicts