2022 Donald Smiley Prize
Winner: George Hoberg
The Resistance Dilemma: Place-Based Movements and the Climate Crisis (MIT Press, 2021)
Excerpt from jury report: The Resistance Dilemma is a timely book on an important topic. It focuses on place-based resistance to energy projects by analyzing four cases where climate justice activists aligned with local groups such as Indigenous nations, homeowners, and farmers. Using an innovative process tracing method to test hypotheses concerning causality and policy outcomes, The Resistance Dilemma is able to synthesize a large amount of description and analysis into an engaging narrative. The result is a captivating blow-by-blow account of four recent pipeline battles that dominated Canadian media over the last decade: Keystone, Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain, and Energy East. Hoberg concludes that place-based resistance combined with multiple veto points, the need to build brand new infrastructure, and a large distance between where a project is built and where its benefits are felt make it very difficult for new energy projects to be built in the current North American political environment.