Framing the future of fracking: Discursive lock-in or energy degrowth in the Netherlands?

Tamara Metze*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Hydraulic fracturing is a technology developed to improve and increase the production of natural gas. In many countries, including the Netherlands, it has caused environmental controversies. In these controversies, 'futurity framing' may open up debates for alternative paradigms such as 'degrowth,' which is the pursuing of collective and deliberative, downscaled production of (natural) resources and less consumption for convivial living. Based on a frame analysis, it is demonstrated that opponents and proponents of fracking have envisaged pessimistic energy futures either to promote or devaluate fracking technology. In addition, the results show that dominant technological enthusiasm has enabled the introduction of 'degrowth technology,' which are downscaled, decentralized and renewable energy technologies. Degrowth-technology framing may provide a means of access for more radical degrowth thinking in the energy debates. This empirical finding also indicates that the degrowth paradigm could include controversies as entry points for creating support for degrowth thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1737-1745
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number2
Early online date27 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Degrowth
  • Framing
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Shale gas
  • Socio-technological futures
  • Technology


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