Qualification project

Reconfiguring Energy Spaces: The Role of Spatial Governmentalities and Competing Socio-Material Dispositives

Research Department: Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods

Project Leader within IRS: Dr. Ludger Gailing

Duration: 01/2016 - 12/2020


This project is part of the so-called German habilitation qualification (post-doctoral thesis for senior researchers). It is about energy spaces, energy transitions and new geographies of energy. Focussing empirically on the tensions between old and new energy spaces, the project explores regions with both a traditional, fossil-fuel-based generation of electricity and renewable energy generation. The project provides perspectives on the socio-spatial aspects of energy technologies by seeing through the lens of Foucauldian theories (esp. dispositive thinking and governmentality studies). The research interest is aimed at the role of space, (productive) power, subjectivities and socio-materialities in the context of energy transitions.

Photo: © Tagebau Inden RWE AG/rweimages.com


The "Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods" research department examines fundamental socio-ecological transformation processes. It seeks to produce in-depth analyses to make sense of the complex societal challenges we face today. But that is easier said than done. Should we apply a bird's eye perspective to study broad causal relationships? Or instead zoom in and focus on individual cases and what makes them unique? On January 27, 2020, renowned scholars Gretchen Bakke, Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe attended a departmental workshop to discuss these and other questions. more info