While a large literature exists on the siting of controversial facilities, few theories about spatial location have been tested on large samples. Using a new dataset from Japan, this paper demonstrates that state agencies choose localities judged weakest in local civil society as host communities for controversial projects. In some cases, powerful politicians deliberately seek to have facilities such as nuclear power plants, dams, and airports placed in their home constituency. This paper then explores new territory: how demographic, political, and civil society factors impact the outcomes of siting attempts. It finds that the strength of local civil society impacts the probability that a proposed project will come to fruition; the greater the concentration of local civil society, the less likely state-planned projects will be completed.
From a 2008 article (ungated pdf) by political scientist Daniel Aldrich. Here are his related articles on the siting of controversial facilities and here is his book on the subject. Here is Daniel’s article on the recovery after the Kobe earthquake. Here is his article on post-tsunami recovery in Southeast Asia. And there are more.