Conflicting Participation: The Territorial Trajectory of Mobilizations against Shale Gas in Quebec (Canada)

By Marie-José Fortin, Yann Fournis

Conflict is usually seen as an obstacle to major projects, and “good” participation within well-framed processes that are able to avoid any tension is seen as preferable. Against this premise, this paper seeks to reexamine the political, participatory, and conflicting dimensions of social dynamics surrounding large energy projects. Through the case study of shale gas in Quebec, the analysis describes the phases of territorial mobilization against this megaproject, showing how its evolution relies on local leaders’ ability to grasp participation processes, the reconfiguration of collective actors, and a (closed in this case) political opportunity structure (i.e., natural resources regimes).


  • citizen participation
  • contentious politics
  • local mobilization
  • energy
  • shale gas
  • Québec
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