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The risk/no-risk rhetoric of environmental impact assessments (EIA): The case of off-shore wind farms in Sweden

Corvellec, Hervé LU and Boholm, Åsa (2008) In Local Environment 13(7). p.627-640
Abstract
Risk is a key topic in the communication between developers of infrastructure projects, permit-granting authorities, and civil society. The nature of risk communication is contested among academics, however. Whereas some scholars conceive of risk communication as a matter of effectively communicating expert knowledge on factual matters to the public, others emphasize the role of symbolic construction and rhetoric. This article analyses how wind farm developers rhetorically construct risks in relation to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a large off-shore Wind farm project. Our analysis is inspired by the New Rhetoric, the theory of argumentation developed by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958). We suggest that the EIA adopt a... (More)
Risk is a key topic in the communication between developers of infrastructure projects, permit-granting authorities, and civil society. The nature of risk communication is contested among academics, however. Whereas some scholars conceive of risk communication as a matter of effectively communicating expert knowledge on factual matters to the public, others emphasize the role of symbolic construction and rhetoric. This article analyses how wind farm developers rhetorically construct risks in relation to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a large off-shore Wind farm project. Our analysis is inspired by the New Rhetoric, the theory of argumentation developed by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958). We suggest that the EIA adopt a dual argumentative strategy. The report associates numerous risks to the project by identifying and cataloguing them; however, these risks are also disconnected from the project by being described as nonexistent, negligible, or manageable. We discuss some implications of considering EIAs, not as accounts of reality, but as loci of production for this reality. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Risk communication, Sweden, Wind power, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), New Rhetoric, Environmental Planning.
in
Local Environment
volume
13
issue
7
pages
627 - 640
publisher
Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISSN
1354-9839
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8d4cd1d3-b027-432e-9296-db3e6b6a52e4 (old id 1235530)
date added to LUP
2008-09-12 17:07:06
date last changed
2016-10-11 08:34:57
@article{8d4cd1d3-b027-432e-9296-db3e6b6a52e4,
  abstract     = {Risk is a key topic in the communication between developers of infrastructure projects, permit-granting authorities, and civil society. The nature of risk communication is contested among academics, however. Whereas some scholars conceive of risk communication as a matter of effectively communicating expert knowledge on factual matters to the public, others emphasize the role of symbolic construction and rhetoric. This article analyses how wind farm developers rhetorically construct risks in relation to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a large off-shore Wind farm project. Our analysis is inspired by the New Rhetoric, the theory of argumentation developed by Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958). We suggest that the EIA adopt a dual argumentative strategy. The report associates numerous risks to the project by identifying and cataloguing them; however, these risks are also disconnected from the project by being described as nonexistent, negligible, or manageable. We discuss some implications of considering EIAs, not as accounts of reality, but as loci of production for this reality.},
  author       = {Corvellec, Hervé and Boholm, Åsa},
  issn         = {1354-9839},
  keyword      = {Risk communication,Sweden,Wind power,Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA),New Rhetoric,Environmental Planning.},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {627--640},
  publisher    = {Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Ltd},
  series       = {Local Environment},
  title        = {The risk/no-risk rhetoric of environmental impact assessments (EIA): The case of off-shore wind farms in Sweden},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2008},
}