Energy, Society and Place Research Unit

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Call for papers: Rescaling energy security in the UK

Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute for British Geographers, 3rd – 5th July 2012, Edinburgh
Call for Papers
Rescaling energy security in the UK
Organisers: Michael Bradshaw (University of Leicester) and Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Birmingham)
Sponsored by the Energy Geographies Working Group of the RGS-IBG
Energy security debates have gained increased political prominence in the UK over the past few years. Public interest in the issue has been accompanied by a wide range of academic studies focusing on the political and economic risks associated with the UK¹s future security of supply.
However, the mainstream understanding of energy security is predicated on a particular construction of scale and space, emphasising the challenges that national-level institutional actors may face in obtaining a stable and reliable source of energy over a given timescale. Downstream issues are rarely considered in the context of such debates, despite the fact that the boundaries between energy production and consumption are becoming increasingly fluid and entangled.
This session seeks to challenge discourses about the primacy of national, supply-side issues in the articulation of energy security in the UK, opening up the possibility of treating this issue with the aid of a multiscalar framework that operates both at the supra-national and household level. Such an understanding of scale allows issues of local energy planning and household-level energy vulnerability to be also considered within the context of energy security, while opening the path for incorporating the environmental, economic and social implications of
climate change mitigation measures within the same context.
In a broader sense, the session seeks to explore the potential contribution of geographers to energy studies in terms of building ‘alternative’ understandings of scale in the interpretation of energy security. Building on several promising debates at previous Annual Conferences, this session seeks to further the contribution of geographers to energy research, focusing especially on the unpacking of the social production of scale, infrastructure and power in the conceptualization of energy security. Papers could address, but are not limited to:
– Energy security and critical geopolitics;
– Decentralised energy provision and energy security;
– Fuel poverty and energy precariousness in the context of energy security;
– The production of scale in energy security discourses;
– Links between identity or ideology, and access to or control over energy sources and technologies;
– Spatial and temporal transformations in the ‘value’ of specific energy services;
– The role of privatisation and private sector entrepreneurship with regards to energy security;
– The role of other non-state actors in the promotion of energy security or independence (e.g. the off grid movement; low carbon lifestyles; local and collective action for energy security).
If you are interested in participating, please contact the organisers with a 200 word abstract at either or no later than the 22nd of February 2012.

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