Assembling community energy democracies

VAN VEELEN, Bregje and EADSON, William (2019). Assembling community energy democracies. Voluntary Sector Review.

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Calls for greater ‘energy democracy’ foresee a greater role for voluntary sector activity – including through community groups’ ownership of energy projects – to help produce more open, participatory and just energy systems. This article offers a novel conceptualisation of democracy through viewing community energy projects as assemblages of heterogeneous elements, and traces their enlacement with a wide range of social and political relations. This enables us to explore how a position of distributed agency affects the possibilities, challenges and realities of enacting new forms of democracy. Drawing on empirical research in England and Scotland, we trace the relations that community groups form in the process of setting up energy projects. In doing so, we go beyond the binary view that sees such groups as inherently democratic responses to undemocratic systems or as co-opted actors in governmental programmes, instead exploring the multiple ways these new socio-material configurations ‘become-democratic’. Through furthering an understanding of energy democracy that emphasises democracy-as-process, we demonstrate its inherent emergent, contingent and uncertain qualities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Voluntary Sector Review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version - Van Veelen, B. and Eadson, W. (2019) Assembling community energy democracies, Voluntary Sector Review, vol xx, no xx, 1–19, DOI: 10.1332/204080519X15740562779512 is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1503 Business and Management; 1605 Policy and Administration
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 15:49
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 18:46

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