The French Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing and the Attempts to Reverse It: Social Mobilization, Professional Forums, and Coalition Strategies

  • Sébastien Chailleux
  • Stéphane Moyson


In March 2010, the French Minister of Environment issued the first three licenses involving the exploration of shale gas with hydraulic fracturing. The large-scale diffusion of Gasland—a documentary demonstrating the negative consequences of hydraulic fracturing—as well as an efficient strategy of social and political mobilization allowed a coalition of anti-fracturing policy actors to get a ban on this extraction technique in July 2011. The ban, however, discredited the entire unconventional hydrocarbon industry, which galvanized a coalition of pro-exploration policy actors. Since 2011, various politico-administrative committees (or “professional forums”) were created to discuss shale hydrocarbons. The design of those committees and the strategic participation of pro-exploration actors have not reversed the ban but have led to incremental changes, which should preserve hydrocarbon exploration.


Hydraulic Fracture Policy Actor Policy Process Internal Shock Advocacy Coalition Framework 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sébastien Chailleux
    • 1
  • Stéphane Moyson
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre Emile DurkheimSciences Po BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.Department of Public AdministrationErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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