Sustainable development agendas for energy politics vs local communities

Petr Skalník (University of Hradec Králové)
Marcin Brocki (Jagiellonian University)
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Short abstract:

Panel addresses ambivalences of energy politics versus local responses to energy development. Ethnographies of late industrialism worldwide will be welcome.

Long abstract:

The debate and politics over renewable energy resources get verve recently due to climate warming effect. Coal energy, the dirtiest energy, and its development is being criticized in many official documents at the European and global levels. But some countries such as Poland, Turkey, China build new coal power stations. Countries such as Germany and Austria, which publicly adhere to renewable energy sources, do not however mind to import power generated by both coal and nuclear stations located in neighbouring countries. For example, while Poland refers to its carbon-based economy as an aspect of geopolitical independence and social peace among its influential miners, Austria builds a major coal station in Turkey against the will of local inhabitants. Joint EU energy policy is not respected in practice and individual member state policies win. While the panel topic is inspired by ethnographically documented cases of the pitfalls of European policies, cases from outside of Europe will be welcome as well because they illustrate hazards of late industrialism whether coal or mineral extraction that involve catastrophes, environmental devastation, landgrabs, massive corruption, protests of local communities and open violence including local wars. The double-twist of the situation is that although huge energy investments involve collusion of states with companies and political parties, while facing resistance by civil society, they may also engender real support of local communities on the part of the investment. Energy production is not only numbers in energy policies charts, but part of the local economy, policy and social environment.