Humanizing sociotechnical systems through energy justice: New conceptual frameworks for global transformative change

Kirsten Jenkins, Benjamin Sovacool, Darren McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Poverty, climate change and energy security demand awareness about the interlinkages between energy systems and social justice. Amidst these challenges, energy justice has emerged to conceptualize a world where all individuals, across all areas, have safe, affordable and sustainable energy that is, essentially, socially just. Simultaneously, new social and technological solutions to energy problems continually evolve, and interest in the concept of sociotechnical transitions has grown. However, an element often missing from such transitions frameworks is explicit engagement with energy justice frameworks. Despite the development of an embryonic set of literature around these themes, an obvious research gap has emerged: can energy justice and transitions frameworks be combined? This paper argues that they can. It does so through an exploration of the multi-level perspective on sociotechnical systems and an integration of energy justice at the model’s niche, regime and landscape level. It presents the argument that it is within the overarching process of sociotechnical change that issues of energy justice emerge. Here, inattention to social justice issues can cause injustices, whereas attention to them can provide a means to examine and potential resolve them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume117
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/)

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