‘We are not the Wild West’: anti-fracking protests in Romania

  • Vesalon L
  • Creţan R
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Abstract

The protests against recent proposals for exploring and extracting shale gas in Romania are analysed. Examining the specific demands formulated by protesters, we investigate the articulation of a counter-discourse on the social control of natural resources and on the ecological risks involved in the shale gas industry. At the same time, the protests indicate a destabilisation of the post-communist neoliberal consensus by opposing the privatization and deregulation of natural resources. Using a critical political ecology framework, we identify the formation of a specific ‘technonatural’ environment of shale gas, which includes economic interests, political decisions and ideological representations specific to the neoliberalization of natural resources.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Romania
  • environmental organisations
  • environmental protests
  • neoliberalisation
  • shale gas
  • ‘fracking’

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