2 - 3 November 2023

Call for papers: Tensions within (just) energy transitions

The Fair Energy Transition Consortium is inviting abstract submissions for a workshop and accompanying special issue on tensions within energy transitions. We are seeking multi- and interdisciplinary contributions which seek to reimagine work on energy transitions in reference to the tensions and conflicts they embody. We will address such quests as:

What are the tensions surrounding urgency, decision-making and the pursuit of justice in energy transitions? How do we choose between or reconcile competing theories of justice? How should we conceptualise and connect the conflicting priorities of the Global South and Global North? How can we mitigate the tensions within and between individual and collective behaviour?

If you would like to attend please submit the following to We expect talks to be around 25 – 30 minutes long not inclusive of Q & A.

  • A 500 words (max) anonymised abstract of your talk or paper including a title
  • A separate title page including your name, institution, email and title of your talk/paper. Please also indicate the following:
    • Whether you intend to attend the workshop
    • Whether you intend to submit your work to the special issue

The deadline for submissions is June 15th 2023.

We aim to respond to abstract submissions by July 1st 2023.

Focusing on tensions within energy transitions provides a valuable opportunity to bring together a broad range of disciplines: social science, humanities and philosophy, to reframe some of the most pressing issues surrounding the transformation of local and global energy systems.

We are inviting submissions exploring the variety of tensions which surround the attainment and conceptualisation of fair and just energy transitions through three lenses: 

Tensions between the Global North and Global South 

As energy transition begin to unfold in both the Global North and South, a variety of interconnected tensions are revealing themselves. Priorities in one region can and do conflict with priorities in another, as do the ways these priorities are understood and articulated. A notion of energy justice developed in the North may not be able to capture and articulate the grievances and priorities of those in the South. Whilst notions of justice in the Global South might incorporate or expand the community of justice to animals and ecosystems, Northern (or Western) approaches may only focus on the rights of the individual. How can developing notions of energy justice navigate these tensions? How does scale impact the theory we might use? And which entities, agents or communities must energy justice include to reflect these priorities?

Tensions between individuals and collective behaviour

Energy transitions can impose costs on both individual and collective levels, yet many predict the collective costs of no transition will be higher. Whilst one can envision a fair transition as one in which everyone engages, some may not want to engage at all, whilst others may lack the resources, time, or opportunity to do so. The increasing role of and attention paid to energy communities in transitions may work in some regions but may falter in others where participation in energy transitions is not part of a communities agenda or priorities.

How can we create inclusive energy transitions, where the collective does not leave the individual behind? How can tensions between groups and individuals in transition processes be reduced or resolved? And, how can we better recognise the tensions between citizens and contemporary modes of governance? This component focuses on the tensions within and between individual and collective behaviour in energy transitions.

Tensions within conceptual approaches to energy justice

How can we choose between competing theories of justice? Can individual notions of justice only take us so far in achieving and understanding a just transition? Can we relate human rights to the rights of nature and what role should this play in the energy transition? As energy transitions unfold around the world a variety of protests, demands and harms reveal themselves. Such grievances can be understood in terms of a wide variety of theories, but many such theories compete with one another. One theory may substantiate a claim of injustice whilst another might dispel it – how can we navigate and conceptualise conflicting and competing claims to justice and how might we choose between them? Importantly, how can this work be made accessible to other disciplines and decision-makers? This component looks for work which pertains too or ties together these core questions.