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ESA RN 2014 : The 2nd Conference of the International Energy and Society Network: Energy Transitions as Societal Transitions - Challenges for the Present and the Future


When Jun 4, 2014 - Jun 6, 2014
Where Krakow, Poland
Submission Deadline Dec 15, 2013
Notification Due Jan 31, 2014
Categories    energy   sustainability   policy

Call For Papers

Energy transitions are strongly linked to wider societal change. Questions remain, however, regarding how these links can be characterized and whether proposed energy transitions currently place enough emphasis on the implied transformations to societal structures, including habits, life styles, social structures and norms. Further, it is unclear whether the extent of change and the sometimes quite radical implications for society are adequately captured in existing attempts to chart transitional pathways. Two key overarching concerns are at the centre of this conference. First, issues relating to whether non/changing societies are enabling or blocking wider technological or infrastructural transformations. This includes problems of societal acceptance, participation and living cultures, as well as political structures and the nature of contemporary societies (e.g. capitalist, neo-liberal societies). Second, questions about the ways that technological or infrastructural transition intersects with economic, cultural, social, and political routines. This incorporates concerns about environmental justice and capability effects and social sustainability that may be disrupted through technological and infrastructural transition.

We invite all researchers interested in the social aspects of energy transitions to submit abstracts for the 2nd Conference of the International Energy and Society Network, which will be held at the Institute of Sociology (Jagiellonian University), Krakow, Poland, on June 4-6, 2014.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers interested in relations between energy and society and to provide an opportunity for them to connect with others for the purpose of international exchange and possible research collaboration in this area. The conference will feature a keynote by a distinguished scholar prof. Elisabeth Shove. In addition to thematic panels of regular paper presentations, the program will include workshops and scheduled time and space for discussions. Additionally, optional excursions will be organized, likely to include a visit to the Laboratory of RES and Energy Safe Technologies or to a Coal Mining site.

We encourage submissions on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to the following:

- Energy policies as public policies: social impacts of energy transitions, socially conscious shaping of transitions.
- Structural changes to the energy system and changes in society: decentralization, shifts from “big players” to a multitude of actors, from consumer to prosumer.
- Energy transition as local project: local initiatives, citizen power plants, local strategies, and the interplay of governance levels.
- Conceptual approaches to energy transition research: existing concepts-new applications, innovations in theory.
- Energy transition in context: national and regional conditions, paradigms and pathways, energy cultures.
- Interlinking socio-technical systems: energy – water, energy – waste, energy-food.
- Practice, materiality, energy and social change: innovations in practice, embeddedness, technology and change
- Energy poverty, justice and development: energy poverty research and concepts, environmental justice, political and personal conceptions.
- Public acceptability: implications for energy system transitions, approaches to understanding acceptability.
- Energy demand, markets and innovation: the shaping of demand, implications of energy market innovation for demand.

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