Energy security and human security in a Dutch gasquake context: A case of localized performative politics

Johannes Kester*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
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    From the late 1980s, the natural gas extraction in the Netherlands has experienced an increasing number of ever stronger gasquakes (induced earthquakes due to gas extraction). This paper offers a security analysis of the accompanying debate on the material consequences and organization of the gas extraction between the threatened local population, the knowledge institutes analyzing the gasquakes, and the government and extraction industry. This paper studies how these parties make sense of the gasquakes through a combination of securitization theory and the flat relationality offered by new materialism, which forces the two conflicting securitization claims to be analyzed in their local sociotechnical and material context. The resulting analysis shows how the gas debate is structured by a shared security of supply understanding. An understanding which for a long time has been questioned by the local population on its safety and cost implications. However, it took 25 years until their claims were accepted and the security of supply understanding shifted to a focus on minimal extraction volumes. An acceptance that can only be explained through a self-reinforcing combination of security claims, actual material events, increasing measurements (following security calls), shifting value judgements and increasing audience acceptance (creating additional speech actors). (C) 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12-20
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2017


    • Energy security
    • Induced earthquakes
    • Knowledge politics
    • Security logics
    • AGENCY

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