Military landscape expansion in the Netherlands: the legitimation of militarisation in an ever scarcer and conflicted space

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This qualitative research delved into the legitimation of military landscape expansion in the Netherlands, a country where the available space is already scarce and heavily disputed by a large number of different stakeholders. Through exploring what kind of military space is necessary, what the spatial consequences of such expansion plans are, and how these consequences in various places and contexts are justified, this research explored how the expansion of military landscapes in the Netherlands is legitimised. Data collection entailed interviews with advisors and project managers from provinces/ministries, and field research at various military sites, plus complementary documents analysis. This research concludes that mounting securitisation concerns prompt the undoing of the massive disinvestments since the end of the Cold War, causing frictions between military and civil stakeholders. However, these drives come with a more complex set of motives and responses than suggested by the conceptual framework. In this mix, some factors (e.g. securitisation) are more important than others (e.g. nature). The main recommendation is to find matching opportunities between securitisation and civic interests such as education and innovation, employment, sustainability, cultural-history, and or mobility. An interesting aspect is the rising importance of 'military environmentalism’.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen