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Conceptualizing transformational change in energy systems and the built environment 
Harald Rohracher (Linköping University)
Jenny Palm (Lund University)
Thomas Berker (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Michael Ornetzeder (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Eva Heiskanen (University of Helsinki)
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Friday 2 September, -, -, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid

Short Abstract:

This session brings concepts of transformational socio-technical change in the energy system and built environment in conversation with each other. How are transition studies, practice theory or assemblage theory differing in questions of agency, governance or the collectives they are articulating?

Long Abstract:

During the past decades the energy and building sectors have increasingly come under pressure to undergo fundamental change processes. A radical transformation of these socio-technical systems towards greater sustainability and low carbon emissions is key to combat climate change and resource depletion. At the same time, the materiality of energy and buildings is deeply entangled with social practices of everyday live and energy use and broader socio-material configurations such as systems of mobility or processes of urban development and change.

The aim of this session is to bring different conceptual approaches within STS and innovation studies used in this context into conversation with each other. Some recent examples of such attempts to conceptualize socio-technical change and transformation in the energy system and built environment are social practice theory, transition studies, innovation systems analyses, assemblage theory, or concepts of social worlds and arenas of development.

The session invites both, empirical case studies on energy or buildings and conceptual papers on transformational socio-technical change, and will be organized around questions such as: How are approaches in STS and innovation studies differing in their conceptualization of socio-technical change? Which implicit assumptions about the governability and implications for the governance of change are harbored by these approaches? How are they dealing differently with questions of agency? And along with the conference theme: Do those different conceptual approaches tend to articulate different collectives implicated in the energy system and built environment?

SESSIONS: 4/4/4/5

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 September, 2016, -