Multiple transformations: theorizing energy vulnerability as a socio-spatial phenomenon

Stefan Bouzarovski, Sergio Tirado Herrero, Saska Petrova, Jan Frankowski, Roman Matoušek, Tomas Maltby

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The on-going transition towards low-carbon forms of energy provision (frequently termed ‘energy transitions’) has triggered far-reaching material, economic and institutional reconfigurations at the global scale. There is evidence to suggest that energy transitions increase the social vulnerability of actors involved in and affected by them, including entities operating at different scales, from individual households to entire states. However, the link between energy vulnerability and energy transitions remains poorly understood. We aim to contribute to the formulation of an explicitly geographical perspective on this relationship. The paper is based on an analysis of documentary evidence and 170 expert interviews undertaken between April 2013 and March 2015. This research took place in the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) where systemic change has fundamentally altered the institutional landscape of the energy sector since the early 1990s. Our findings point to the need for understanding energy vulnerability as an evolving socio-spatial phenomenon embedded in multiple layers of institutional change and organizational practice. We identify urban landscapes as the primary site for the geographic expression and articulation of domestic energy deprivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-41
Number of pages21
JournalGeografiska Annaler. Series B: Human Geography
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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