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Message posted on 02/01/2018

CfP EASST 2018: Challenging formal arrangements and decision-making in the energy sector

                Dear colleagues,

First of all, I would like to wish you all a happy new year! Secondly, I would
like to draw your attention to a panel that we are co-organizing on opposition
to formal arrangements and decision-making in energy systems. This panel seeks
to discuss on what grounds and how formal decision-making processes about
energy projects and energy infrastructures get contested. It investigates how
such contestations and their responses contribute to reconfiguring traditional
conceptions of formal and informal decision-making.

If you want to show your interest and/or have questions, you can contact me or

Kind regards,

Shannon Spruit (Delft University of Technology) and Olivier Ejderyan (ETH

Call for Papers: Challenging formal arrangements and decision-making in the

Planning and implementation of new energy technologies and infrastructures is
often characterized by high levels of institutionalization and formalization.
Such decisions are grounded in procedures and guidelines which are part of
legally established governance structures that aim to evaluate the
desirability of energy projects.

However, these structures and procedures do not always cover the wide range of
meanings, concerns and values that an energy project puts at stake for
different stakeholders. For instance, a strong techno-juridical focus on risks
and safety in the formal assessment of energy projects may downplay other
moral considerations.

Consequently, the legitimacy and adequacy of formal arrangements can be
challenged. For instance, local activism may arise through which citizens
confront the way values are expressed, made tangible and operationalized in
the process. Governmental agencies may react to such challenges by either
reasserting the primacy of formal decision-making channels or opening it up to
the public.

On what grounds and how are formal decisions about energy technologies and
infrastructures contested? How does this affect those engaged in controversies
about them? Furthermore, contestation contributes to the blurring of
boundaries between formal and informal forms of governance. How to understand
the dynamic between formal and informal forms of governance?

To address these questions, we invite papers discussing:

-Practices of opposition to formal decision-making in energy (e.g. political,
activist, epistemic struggles).

-Interactions between formal and informal forms of governance (and/or
challenges to such a distinction).

-Citizen engagement, legal and regulatory experiments, and their relation to
representative democracy.

Practical information:

-Deadline for submitting abstracts is 14/02/2018 via the EASST online

-Selected participants are requested to send around an extended abstract or
first draft of their paper (~2000- 8000 words) to the organizers two weeks in
advance, which will be distributed amongst co-presenters. We would like to
invite discussants to respond to your papers before opening the flour for
general discussion.

-Also, if accepted participants want to use the time allotted to them (20-30
minutes depending on number of participants) in a different way, e.g. to set
up an interactive discussion, we want to encourage this. Just contact us and
share your ideas and we're happy to think along.

Dr. S.L. Spruit \\ Department of Multi Actor Systems \\ TU Delft \\ 4TU
Centre for Ethics and Technology

Visiting address: Room B2.080, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX Delft \\ Postal address:
Postbox 5014, 2600 GA Delft
Tel: +31 (0)15 27 87223
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