Imagining Energy Security

Friday the 25th of May 2018, 09.00-16.15

Energy security has often been read through the lens of the oil crises in the 1970s. Following from this, a narrative of self-sufficiency and diversification of imports has been considered pivotal. International indexes on energy security have solidified this understanding of energy security and sustainability, while the geopolitics related to oil and gas have also fed into it. But other logics of energy security exist. A narrative of “dysfunction” focuses on how certain sectors can be made vulnerable to energy cuts or shortages without affecting the society as a whole. On the other hand, a logic of “pervasiveness” focuses on how the individual and the global is knitted together through energy and nobody or nothing can escape the interconnectedness of energy.

Within this debate, very little has been said about how energy security is imagined in more precise ways. How are societal values coupled with technical decision-making when it comes to energy security in specific countries or in relation to specific technologies? This workshop will enquire into this largely unchartered territory. Bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, the workshop wants to start a discussion of the socio-technical imaginaries of energy security present today. This will add much needed nuance to energy discussions, which very often either stay at a very general, geopolitical level – or delve into technological detail and risk assessments. The workshop wants to dig deeper and look into the micro- or meso-levels of energy imagination: of nations, businesses, technologies.

Practical information

The workshop takes place in The Faculty Lounge in building 35 (35.3.20) at Copenhagen University, Institute of Political Science

University of Copenhagen
Øster Farimagsgade 5
1353 København K



Introductory remarks: Sociotechnical imaginaries in energy security

 by Trine Villumsen Berling & Karen Lund Petersen


Public keynote: What’s new and what’s old in the concept of energy security?

 by Peter Burgess




Session A: Un-making and re-making conceptions of energy security


Securitization and energy
 by Kacper Szulecki


Luhtourian energy approach
 by Jörn Richert


Energy poverty and development (TBC)
 by Mark Daniel Jaeger




Session B: National or technological tales of energy security


Energy in Azerbaijan

 by Aurora Ganz


Citizens’ energy initiatives in Germany, Poland and Ukraine
 by Izabela Survillo


Norwegian energy culture

 by Sandra Sørensen & Trine Villumsen Berling


Smart grids in European expert discourses

 by Lars Gjesvik




Session C: Energy security in the Anthropocene


The energy security paradox

 by Jonna Nymann


Geopolitics, energy, and the Anthropocene 
 by Olaf Corry




Public keynote: Energy security mythologies

 by Felix Ciuta


Concluding remarks and ways ahead

 by Trine Villumsen Berling