Securing abundance: The politics of energy security

Johannes Kester

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    Abstract

    Energy Security is a concept that is known in the literature for its ‘slippery’ nature and subsequent wide range of definitions. Instead of another attempt at grasping the essence of this concept, Securing Abundance reformulates the problem and moves away from a definitional problem to a theoretical reflection and problematization of its current use. It offers a performative understanding of energy security that builds on a deeper understanding of some of the implicit underlying social processes behind energy security. After a short historical analysis of the proliferation of energy security, including a short comparison with a similar proliferation in food security and a reflection on the ways scholars try to make sense of energy security, Securing Abundance unpacks four social practices that drive energy security. These include the logics of security, a critical reflection on the notion of scarcity, an analysis of the relation between the materiality of socio-technical systems and the knowledge people have over such systems, and the (power) politics that combine all these practices. Each of these is unpacked, not to offer the approach to analyze energy security, but to show how energy security works, how it comes to be, what its effects are and what role current ways of thinking about energy security play within these processes. Two illustrations, one on the Dutch natural gas debate and another on the transition to a smarter electricity grid, highlight the use and some of the insights that can be gained from such a performative approach to energy security.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • de Wilde, Jaap, Supervisor
    • Herborth, Benjamin, Co-supervisor
    • Lobo-Guerrero, Luis, Assessment committee
    • Sovacool, B.K. (Benjamin), Assessment committee, External person
    Award date30-Jun-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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