Accepted Paper:

Politicizing energy futures in conflicting visions  


Cordula Kropp (Uniuversität Stuttgart)
Ricarda Scheele (University of Stuttgart)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores controversies over energy landscapes in the three governance modes of modernist, reflexive and post-political governance based on a case study from Bavaria in Germany

Paper long abstract:

Landscapes have been described for long as hybrid things, made of human and non-human agents, materialities and discourses. Diverging visions of sociotechnical futures play a special role in this co-construction: behind the imbroglio of specific designs, cultural models, technical and scientific standards, societal choices and ecological criteria these visions shape both, the ways of forming opinions and making decisions as well as emerging socio-technical constellations and their spatial implementation. But what if all general points of reference erode and institutional mechanisms for legitimate decision making are missing? This is how today's energy landscapes come into existence. Against this background, I will explore controversies over legitimate energy landscape by examining the production of energy imaginaries as multifaceted processes of 'cosmopolitics', in which a multiplicity of actors is involved. The dynamics of such co-constructive processes will be sketched out under modernist, reflexive and post-political governance constellations. Based on case studies from Bavaria (Germany), the controversies will be traced back to conflicting patterns of justification beyond industrial certainties of 'first modernity'. It will be examined whether they can be considered as typical elements of reflexive governance in 'second modernity', or whether they point to a post-political production of energy landscapes on the way towards 'third modernity', a governance constellation in which ecological and democratic claims are merely simulated.

Kropp, C. (2017): Controversies around Energy Landscapes in Third Modernity. In: Landscape Research. Online First. Permanent Link:

Panel D01
Politicizing futures. When conflicting visions meet