Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Given the interconnected nature of our globalized world, dominant modes of energy production and consumption predicate our collective future. This future trends toward untouchable energy monopolies, as big energy largely has become immune to legal controls that make democratic societies possible. While rising concern about extreme weather events adds urgency to the question of renewable energy, established interests are continuing to rely upon technologically rationalized governance mechanisms that reproduce unsustainable outcomes. In the face of climate change, monopolistic energy infrastructures are assimilating renewable technologies to retain control over production and distribution into post-oil futures. This chapter challenges the energy discourse to rethink energy democracy in two critical ways. First, we move from a renewable to a sustainability framework to investigate the biopolitics of energy transition. Second, we employ Foucault’s concept of heterotopias - defined as alternative social orders embedded within a dominant order - to challenge the centralizing and techno-rational logic driving institutionalized governance. Differentiating between conventional and alternative energy geographies, we identify the diverse biopolitics informing transitions in practice. We conclude by arguing that renewable technologies open pathways to energy democracy but note that there is an urgent need to revisit conventional assumptions regarding limitless horizons as well as to reconceptualize human/nature relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Energy Transitions
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000806335
ISBN (Print)9781032023502
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Engineering


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