The Big Picture

Ion Bogdan Vasi

in Winds of Change

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199746927
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827169 | DOI:
The Big Picture

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This chapter combines insight from the literature on industry creation and social movement outcomes to identify the main factors that shape the global development of the wind power industry. It builds a model that illustrates the pathways through which environmental activists, organizations, and research institutes contribute to the growth of this industry. The model's fundamental assumption is that the environmental movement's influence is mediated by social context and natural resources. The chapter also tests the model using quantitative analysis. Results from regression analysis offer support for the theoretical model and are consistent with previous studies on industry emergence and social movement outcomes. These results advance research on industry creation and social movement outcomes by showing that the effect of the variable that measures the strength of environmental organizations is mediated by the natural resources and social context variables. The findings are also consistent with the argument advanced by many energy analysts—that renewable energy feed‐in tariffs (FITs) are essential for the rapid growth of the industry. Taken together, results from the quantitative analysis show that the wind energy industry grows faster in countries that have strong environmental organizations, as well as high‐quality wind and pro‐environment political allies aligned with environmental organizations.

Keywords: social movement outcomes; political opportunities; environmental movement; wind power; feed‐in tariff

Chapter.  10707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environment

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