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Contested energy futures and temporalities in retrospective: instruments and practices of forecasting and scenario work 
Markku Lehtonen (école des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales / ESSEC Business School)
Francis Chateauraynaud (EHESS)
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Saturday 3 September, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid

Short Abstract:

This track proposes a cross-country retrospective analysis of the use of various instruments and practices of "producing energy futures", notably through forecasts and scenarios. It examines, from various disciplinary perspectives, the associated temporalities, controversies, and exercise of power.

Long Abstract:

This track calls for contributions examining the various alternative means - instruments, practices and processes - of "producing energy futures" that various actors involved have employed throughout the history. It proposes a retrospective and comparative perspective to the ways in which energy futures have been and continue to be (co-)constructed, imposed, deliberated, and contested, in different socio-technical and cultural contexts. The "instruments" include conventional techno-economic forecasting by "accredited" experts and organisations, but also a range of alternative instruments and practices, such as participatory scenario-building and backcasting. Whether expert-led or collaborative, these instruments address different temporalities - entailing tensions such as those between urgency and imperative to wait, short-term forecasts and long-term scenarios, between different types of possible irreversibilities, in contexts of variable degrees of uncertainty. Each instrument entails its own typical practices, institutions, political arenas in which it is defended, contested and transformed - thereby shaping expectations, legitimacies and - ultimately - the concrete technologies and energy policy choices.

Contributions in this track can examine, for example, 1) the operation of the means of producing energy futures across diverse country-specific settings (e.g. technopolitical cultures or regimes, "socio-technical imaginaries") and over time; 2) the various temporal scales embedded in the means of producing energy futures; 3) the sources of credibility, legitimacy and political weight of instruments, practices and groups involved in the production of energy futures. Analysis from various theoretical vantage points is welcomed, including historiography, futures studies, political science, political economy, and STS.


Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 3 September, 2016, -