Accepted paper:

Will the electric car pacify the world? Ecological mobility, urbanism and sustainable economy...


Alexandru Balasescu (SNSPA Bucharest)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the agency of the electric vehicle. It argues that changing in the combustion for mobility objects brings changes both in subjectivities and in the relation with the environment, and explores these new possible subjectivities and emerging discourses on electric cars, environment and economy.

Paper long abstract:

As "environment preservation" becomes more and more present on the agenda of global actors and "sustainability" is a THE buzzword in business strategies, the materiality, shapes and ways of functioning of the objects of mobility will change. These innovations will be paralleled by changes in the way we define our gendered selves and our relation with the environment. Their social integration will push for deep cultural transformation, and new types of sexualities, subjectivities and normativities will appear and will modify urban forms and legal frames in which we live. The electric vehicle, heralded by some as the ecological future of individual mobility, generates a series of contradictory discourses and new ways of thinking about our environment. While the pollution factor of the vehicle appears to be reduced (or only hidden from the user), the object itself, through its form and functionality, perpetuates non-ecological behavior and urban forms, patriarchal power structures or hegemonic discourses of both economic growth and neo-liberal individualism. This paper proposes an overview of the multilayered discourses around the alternative combustion car and the transformations at individual and social levels it may bring.

panel P313
Practices of environmental justice: negotiating the relation between the social and the ecological sphere