- From resistance to transformation: Politics of experimentation with new energy systems
- Award date
- 13 December 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the transition to new energy systems. Across the world, groups of policymakers, scientists, citizens and industry leaders have been working together to find alternative and more sustainable forms of energy production. Yet, though their commitment is admirable, progress has been modest. This study develops a relational lens for understanding how in practice actors step by step learn to draw on resources, ideas, infrastructures, and other elements in developing new energy systems. A key issue in this respect the relationship between the resistance of existing (power) structures and the creativity actors develop in making new relationships. On the basis of ethnographic research, Hoffman explores how creativity may be conceptualized in relationship to power dynamics. Cases include energy innovations in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Dutch greenhouse farming and the Danish energy sector.
The framework of creativity developed throughout the book helps to understand how initial conflicts and moments of inertia may turn into movements that come to support societal transformation. In doing so it shows that innovative practices offer a space for joint action in which actors discuss the common good, mix values and goals, form a new community of practice and cultivate a context for change. Such a perspective on creativity enables both a broader and deeper understanding of the meaning of experiments for democratic societies in the 21th century.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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