Unruliness in Energy Frontiers: governing uncertainty and change
This seminar is part of the LUCSUS Seminar Series Spring 2023 - Methods for Mobilization
Speaker: Andrea Nightingale, University of Oslo
Abstract: The need to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change has led to calls for energy transitions. Energy
frontiers, however, are entangled in uncertain geopolitics, injustices, environmental change and development efforts,
raising the stakes for research on sociomaterial change. This paper articulates an analytic of unruliness, embracing
uncertainty and the refusals of both the human and non-human to our efforts at planning and governing the future.
Grounded in justice issues, the concept of ‘unruliness’ theorises how to understand the materialisation of power
through uncertainties, temporalities, intersectional social relations, (colonialism, racism, class, patriarchy) and
governance challenges. Unruliness is concerned with teasing out an analytical basis for democratic debate on the
balance between planning, prediction and modelling, and uncertainty, clashing temporalities and plural knowledges. It
is underpinned by key questions that arise over the socioenvironmental state: who is authorised to govern change,
what knowledges and ontologies are inform energy frontiers, how do clashing temporalities shape who is required to
make changes on the ground?
Short bio: Andrea J. Nightingale is Professor of Human Geography, University of Oslo and Research Fellow, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Her current research passions seek to account for power and politics within dynamic and unpredictable environmental change. Her interests cross between climate change adaptation and transformation debates; collective action and state formation; the nature-society nexus; political violence in natural resource governance; and feminist work on emotion and subjectivity in relation to development, transformation, collective action and cooperation. She has worked in Nepal for over thirty years on natural resource governance and maintains a vibrant research collaboration there. Her work has expanded in the last ten years to collaborate on projects in Kenya, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and Peru. While living in Scotland, she did research on in-shore fisheries management. Her recent book is Environment and Sustainability in a Globalizing World, Routledge, 2019
About the LUCSUS Seminar Series
For researchers engaging with complex sustainability problems and environmental justice, the line between researcher and participant in social mobilization can be fine and sometimes tricky to navigate. The call for transdisciplinarity is fundamental to LUCSUS research and encourages us to actively contribute to developing solutions to complex sustainability problems. This makes reflexivity and positionality key questions to think about. How do we engage with the issues we study? What methods can we use in translating our research into social action, and how do we navigate between roles as researchers, practitioners, and individuals?
For the 2022-2023 LUCSUS seminar series, we will hear from researchers who have engaged with sustainability issues on the ground and learn from their experiences of working across the researcher-activist gap.
Learn more about the LUCSUS Seminar Series at LUCSUS.lu.se
No registration is required.
Wrangel, Biskopsgatan 5, room 117
jonas [dot] allesson [at] LUCSUS [dot] lu [dot] se