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Monday, February 18, 2013

CFP for CASCA 2013: "Oiling the Record: Contestations in global regimes of energy and sustainable futures."

CFP for CASCA 2013: "Oiling the Record: Contestations in global regimes of
energy and sustainable futures."

Perhaps no other domain of social, economic and political processes is
currently more hotly debated than that of energy. The science and advocacy
of climate change has put increasing pressure on governments and
businesses to rethink and retool our access to abundant energy - a
resource which our current societies as well as anticipated future ones
crucially depend upon. Arguably, there has been a shift of direction in
governmental policy and corporate public relations towards the 'greening'
of energy. In reality, the world has inherited path-dependent
infrastructures, bestowed on us by policy decisions taken in the past.
These established channels of energy production, distribution and
consumption are reliant on oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy, and seem to
be impervious to change at the required pace. The German Energiewende or
'energy turn', for example, aims for 80% of national power supply from
renewable energies by 2050, but the powerful lobby of Germany's energy
corporations is resisting change (Kemfert 2013). In the United States, a
shale oil boom boosted by new technologies of extraction has resulted in
the highest rate of oil production in 20 years. Yet, accustomed
energy-related claims and practices have come under fire. In the oil-sands
of Alberta, the official government and corporate records of
sustainability, environmental harm and other impacts have been massively
challenged by First Nations, ecologists and others. The Keystone pipeline
project is again facing fierce criticism in the United States. The
Fukushima disaster in Japan has irrevocably altered the official record of
nuclear energy's safety. As the economy of energy has become a globally
contested arena, what are the opposing logics within the current regimes
of energy? What can inquiry into the business, governance and study of
energy tell us about the paradoxical nature of change and permanence
within this crucial domain? Who are the various heterogeneous actors
within business, government, academia and the wider public? What are their
preferences and strategic actions towards certain modes of energy
production, distribution and consumption?

This panel explores official and unofficial records of oil and gas
development in Canada, Saudi Arabia and beyond. Energy futures, corporate
practices, energy production and consumption, social contestations, land
use and sustainability are themes explored by the panel. We are seeking
papers from around the world, which engage with particular instances of
how existing regimes of energy are challenged and maintained. How do
ecologists, climate scientists, innovative technologies, government
agencies, energy corporations and various other kinds of social actors
affect the knowledge and practice of energy production, distribution
and/or consumption? What are the competing roles of control of critical
resources, value appropriation and sustainable futures? How do national
interests interact with those of transnational communities and
multinational corporations in this field of tension? What kinds of
temporalities and metaphors are invoked in the course of contesting
constraints and defending them?

Possible topic for papers could include:

- Corporate and governmental strategy and action

- Challenges to these strategies and actions

- Changes to economies of energy

- Impact of innovative technologies on existing energy regimes

- Social outcomes of changes in energy production, distribution
and/or consumption

- The effects of extraction industries and energy production on
land and land use

- Temporalities and metaphors in contesting/defending regimes and
economies of energy

- Any other related topic

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, along with your contact
information (name, institutional affiliation, department, and email
address) to Timm Lau (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) at<> or Caura Wood (York
University) at<>, by 25
February 2013.

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