How Competing Securitized Discourses over Land Appropriation Are Constructed: The Promotion of Solar Energy in the Israeli Desert

Itay Fischhendler*, Dror Boymel, Maxwell T. Boykoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although solar farms are often favorably received by the public due to their contribution to clean energy, they are not conflict-free. In various contexts, this land-intensive technology often competes with other land uses like agriculture, nature reserves, and army training. As a result of this competition, interest groups often seek political leverage in order to prioritize their spatial use. Framing their uses as existential is one possible way to capture the attention of decision-makers. Yet, this securitization process may create a framing contest whereby different actors use similar securitization language to promote different land uses. This study is the first attempt to trace how this framing contest of securitized discourses over land appropriation is constructed. It is based on the Israeli experience of promoting solar energy in the Negev Desert, an area conceived as available to solar development. Through an analysis of protocols of Israeli policy-makers meetings between 2002 and 2011, the study documents the ways in which players adopt securitized language concerning various land uses such as energy, food, ecology, and traditional (national) security. The study found that the use of securitized framing varies between uses, forums, actors, and sectors. Yet competition between securities discourses remained uneven as, in the Israeli context, many players find it difficult to challenge the hegemonic role of traditional (national) security.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)147-168
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • conflicts
  • energy
  • land use
  • security
  • solar farms

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