T046
New Technologies, social practices and social conflict - sustainable energy transitions as a field of contention

Convenors:
Gerhard Fuchs (University of Stuttgart)
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
M213
Start time:
3 September, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Papers dealing with cases of contention, cognitive frames underlying the conflicts, processes of coalition formation, the analysis of forms of protest related to electricity transitions are being solicited.

Long abstract:

Debates about a substantial and sustainable transformation of electricity systems constitute a major field of social contention. New technologies are being developed and implemented, old technologies are supposed to be abandoned. The social structure of the relevant fields and the social practices sustaining them are under stress. Incumbent actors are struggling to cope with changes and a host of new actors is challenging their dominant position. Conflicts are thus presently dealing with a variety of issues: it might be the choice of technologies, the battle for the most suitable organizational architecture, siting conflicts and much more. Conflicts are linked to conflicting socio-political concepts about the role of sustainability and climate change, but also relate to specific local concerns (nature conservation, nimby-ism etc.). This diversity of interests sometimes leads to odd support coalition, e.g. uniting incumbent utilities and nature conservation groups against the development of renewables. Papers dealing with cases of contention, cognitive frames underlying the conflicts, processes of coalition formation, the analysis of forms of protest are welcome. Papers can deal with single cases or compare a bigger number. Theoretical perspectives to be applied can be actor network theory, transition theory, path dependency and path creation, theories of gradual transformation, theory of strategic action fields or other conflict-oriented approaches. SESSIONS: 5/5