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Bringing geopolitics to energy transition research

Abstract : This perspective aims at a geopolitical conceptual and empirical contribution to research questions on power in energy transition research, coming from the history of energy and Sustainability Transitions Studies. It aims at answering the call that has been made for the development of approaches that take power dynamics between actors into account, by authors coming from Sustainability Transitions Studies. This article suggests a geopolitical approach of power relations, at and of the different scales of energy transitions – understood as a change of energy resource could open a complementary and more spatial vision on this issue based on the main concepts of representations, territoriality, and resource development. This conceptual proposition is then developed over two empirical examples. The first one is France’s energy governance system, which is just stepping out of its precedent energy transition towards nuclear energy. It explores the effects of the ongoing sustainable transition on the structure of the political landscape and of the energy sector using the concepts of resource development control and appropriation. The second one on EU energy transition policy highlights the importance of representations, a key concept in geopolitics, whose analysis facilitates the understanding of actors’ strategies.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 12:14:09 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:23:28 AM

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Angélique Palle. Bringing geopolitics to energy transition research. Energy Research & Social Science, Elsevier, 2021, 81, pp.102233. ⟨10.1016/j.erss.2021.102233⟩. ⟨hal-03477551⟩

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