1st Edition

Dilemmas of Energy Transitions in the Global South
Balancing Urgency and Justice

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 17, 2021
ISBN 9780367486440
June 17, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
200 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book explores how in the wake of the Anthropocene, the growing call for urgent decarbonisation and accelerated energy transitions might have unintended consequences for energy poverty, justice and democracy, especially in the global South.

Dilemmas of Energy Transitions in the Global South brings together theoretical and empirical contributions focused on rethinking energy transitions conceptually from and for the global South, and highlights issues of justice and inclusivity. It argues that while urgency is critical for energy transitions in a climate-changed world, we must be wary of conflating goals and processes, and enquire what urgency means for due process. Drawing from a range of authors with expertise spanning environmental justice, design theory, ethics of technology, conflict and gender, it examines case studies from countries including Bolivia, Sri Lanka, India, Ghana and Lebanon in order to expand our understanding of what energy transitions are, and how just energy transitions can be done in different parts of the world. Overall, driven by a postcolonial and decolonial sensibility, this book brings to the fore new concepts and ideas to help balance the demands of justice and urgency, to flag relevant but often overlooked issues, and to provide new pathways forward.

This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy transitions, environmental justice, climate change and developing countries.

Table of Contents

  1. Urgency Vs Justice: A Politics of Energy Transitions in the Age of Anthropocene
  2. Ankit Kumar, Auke Pols, and Johanna Höffken

  3. Insights from an Assemblage Perspective for a (Better) Understanding of Energy Transitions: Facing the Challenge of Sustainability in Lebanon’s Energy Crisis
  4. Dana Abi Ghanem

  5. Constructing an Inclusive Vision of Sustainable Transition to Decentralised Energy: Local Practices, Knowledge, Values, and Narratives in the Case of Community-Managed Grids in Rural India
  6. Anna Melnyk and Abhigyan Singh

  7. Bolivia’s Energy Transition in Harmony with Nature: Reality or Delusion?
  8. Paola Villavicencio-Calzadilla and Romain Mauger

  9. Scalar Biases in Solar Photovoltaic Uptake: Socio-Materiality, Regulatory Inertia and Politics
  10. Siddharth Sareen

  11. Energy Transitions in a Post-War Setting: Questions of Equity, Justice, and Democracy in Sri Lanka
  12. Gz. MeeNilankco Theiventhran

  13. Energizing Change: Clean Cooking and the Changing Social Position of Women
  14. Mini Govindan and Rashmi Murali

  15. ‘Women Don’t Ride bicycle[s], Only Men Ride Bicycles’: Gender and Justice in Mobility Transitions
  16. Mary Greene and Anne Schiffer

  17. Energy Transitions in the Global South: Towards Just Urgency and Urgent Justice

Johanna Höffken, Auke Pols, and Ankit Kumar

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Ankit Kumar is a Lecturer in Development and Environment at the University of Sheffield, the United Kingdom.

Johanna Höffken is an Assistant Professor in Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands.

Auke Pols is a Lecturer in Responsible Innovation and the Ethics of Technology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


"This book makes a deep-diving contribution to an important issue: how to ensure rapid climate action by transitioning energy systems whilst recognising this as a deeply socio-ethical process. The editors distinguish between urgency and justice to explore questions that everyone involved in energy transitions research or practice must engage with." -- Rob Raven, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, Australia

"Kumar, Höffken, and Pols have assembled an outstanding collection of essays that situates the energy transition firmly within the Anthropocene. [They] put justice at the core of the energy transition. They do this by showcasing the dynamics and politics of energy transition in a diverse set of geographical contexts. The multi-site insights from this collection show that the energy transition generates new forms of carbon colonialism. The book also reveals multiple inequalities embedded in energy transitions, as shown, for example, in gendered patterns of inclusion and exclusion. Accessible and engaging, this book will inform the growing work of critical energy scholars, whether they are seeking to understand how to activate just energy transitions or trying to avoid the mistakes of the past." -- Vanesa Castan Broto, Interdisciplinary Centre for the Social Sciences, Urban Institute and Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

"This important collection on just transitions in the global South casts a new empirical light onto an otherwise shadowy area of inquiry. The chapters bring to attention the complexity and nuance needed to understand the implications for the energy transition on materials, land, labour, and nature-cultures. This book offers new empirical insights for why justice needs to be at the centre of climate mitigation efforts with the world’s most vulnerable, and why moving fast without careful thought and participation—building with haste—could reproduce the same old inequities, this time in the name of decarbonisation. The authors give us much to think about and wrestle with - a truly timely collection for this moment." -- Dustin Mulvaney, Department of Environmental Studies, San José State University, USA