Accepted Paper:

Ecologies of participation and energy constitutions  

Authors:

Helen Pallett (University of East Anglia)
Jason Chilvers (University of East Anglia)
Tom Hargreaves

Paper short abstract:

This talk develops a framework for understanding ecologies of participation, connecting individual collectives of participation and broader constitutions. This approach is applied to a systematic mapping of diverse participatory collectives in UK energy transitions, 2010-2015.

Paper long abstract:

This talk develops a framework for understanding ecologies of participation, connecting together individual instances of participation and much broader constitutions connecting states, science and citizens. Responding to the systemic turn across several different domains of work around public participation, from deliberative democracy to social practice theory, we develop our own systemic framework which is compatible with our relational and co-productionist approach. In contrast to the very situated focus of most relational and co-productionist studies, we draw on constitutional co-productionist work in STS to theorise the energy system as constitution and understand its co-productive relationship with collective practices of public and societal engagement with energy. We put this framework into practice using the empirical example of participation in UK energy transitions 2010-2015, reporting on a systematic mapping of diverse participatory collectives. Our mapping illustrates the broader processes shaping energy participation and the UK energy constitution. These include particular practices or technologies of engagement performed in research and governance, as well as different spaces of controversy and negotiation around energy, dominant visions of energy publics, and the different ways in which participatory collectives are publicised and de-publicised.

Panel T144
Ecologies of participation: Thinking systemically about science and technology by other means