Understanding the Social Dynamics of Energy Regions—The Importance of Discourse Analysis
Regional initiatives pursuing self-sufficiency through the use of renewable energy sources (RESS-initiatives) aim at contributing to broader transitions towards more sustainable energy systems. As such, they have raised high expectations among local activists and are increasingly supported by diverse funding schemes such as national programs. How can the social dynamics entangled in these initiatives be understood and assessed? A discourse analytical perspective, such as the Argumentative Discourse Analysis developed by Hajer, can bring valuable insights in this regard. This approach highlights the formation of discourse coalitions and processes of discourse structuration and institutionalization. In order to illustrate my conceptual and methodological considerations, I present an analysis of discursive dynamics observed in the alpine district of Murau, Austria, where the vision of reaching ‘energy autarky’ by the year 2015 has influenced regional development plans since 2003. The chosen discourse analytical approach has been very helpful in guiding the analysis of this case. Specific local conditions can explain why certain visions gained discursive hegemony.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
- Späth, Philipp & Rohracher, Harald, 2010. "'Energy regions': The transformative power of regional discourses on socio-technical futures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 449-458, May.
- Coenen, Lars & Raven, Rob & Verbong, Geert, 2009. "Local niche experimentation in energy transitions: a theoretical and empirical exploration of proximity advantages and disadvantages," Papers in Innovation Studies 2009/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
- Heather Lovell & Harriet Bulkeley & Susan Owens, 2009. "Converging agendas? Energy and climate change policies in the UK," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(1), pages 90-109, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:6:p:1256-1273:d:18369. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.