Conflict as a Method of Participation: The Example of Local Communities Faced with Technological Risk Prevention Plans

By Emmanuel Martinais

This article presents research on protest movements involving local communities who consider their property and participatory rights to have been affected by France’s industrial risks policy. It focuses more precisely on about fifty local residents’ associations that have been fighting since 2010 against the implementation of technological risk prevention plans (PPRT). The PPRT is a specific French prevention measure created after the Toulouse (F) industrial accident (2001). It modified the approach to land-use planning in relation to the main types of hazardous facilities—for example, chemical factories or refineries. The observation of the huge protest movement caused by PPRTs shows that conflicts can be considered as a way to participate in public policy implementation, especially when local residents are not clearly invited to collaborate with authorities.


  • industrial risks prevention
  • technological risk prevention plans (PPRT)
  • protest movement of local residents
  • local conflicts
  • citizen participation
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