Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Unraveling contention in transition framings in Finnish energy discussions  
Kamilla Karhunmaa (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

The article analyses how the concept of energy transition has been framed in media and parliamentary energy debates in Finland. The aim is to open up the storylines of energy transitions and examine the contingent processes through which transition discourses are contextualized.

Paper long abstract:

The concept of transitions originates from research on socio-technical transitions. The concept contains both analytical and normative dimensions and is used both as an explanatory concept and to describe a desired process or state. Transitions have in recent years become ubiquitous in public and academic spheres, especially in the normative sense for referring to the need to urgently change current unsustainable practices.

Analyzing transitions faces the problem of how to define phenomena which are in the making and undergoing change. This article proceeds by taking this as an empirical question, and focusing on energy transitions. How have energy transitions been framed in public energy discussions in Finland and with what consequences? How does the normative imperative of urgent energy transitions become disaggregated in a specific context? Theoretically, the article focuses on what the differing conceptualizations of transitions in public discussions create. I focus specifically on the oppositions that are used to characterize transitions and order discussions, such as old/new, change/stability. Are there certain contentious points during which these boundaries become renegotiated?

The material consists of news articles from two national media sources, and speeches in parliament in the years 2011-2015 from Finland. Finland is an interesting case, since Finnish energy policy has traditionally focused on large-scale, centralized energy production solutions and been based on strong state and elite control. Public discussions have focused largely on the technical and economic dimensions of energy and energy technologies. How does the discourse of transitions function in such a context?

Panel T046
New Technologies, social practices and social conflict - sustainable energy transitions as a field of contention
  Session 1 Saturday 3 September, 2016, -