Introduction to special issue on Energy Sustainability and Society published

8th March, 2023

An editorial piece written by CESET PI Professor Vanesa Castán Broto and her colleagues Philpp Späth, Simon Bawakyillenuo and Michael Pregernig has been published as the introduction to a special issue - "The governance of energy transitions in Africa: a sketch of plural perspectives". 

Building on the contributions to the article collection “The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South “, this editorial offers a sketch for a research agenda on transitions research with a main focus on Africa. Still being ill-defined in its concrete contours, this research agenda engages with the central themes of heterogeneity, politics, and the material basis of energy transitions. In this editorial, they address both procedural and content-related questions. Regarding procedural questions, they inform about the context in which this collection emerged. On that, a workshop held in Accra in September 2019 was a key milestone. They contextualise the challenges that some workshop participants had with developing their contributions into publishable articles in the context of uneven academic support structures and knowledge hegemonies. Finally, they introduce the contributions to our article collection, emphasising how they connect and contribute to theur draft research agenda. With regard to the content dimension, this article collection builds and proclaims the need for plural approaches to understanding energy transitions in Africa. A plurality of specific context conditions calls for pluralistic analytical perspectives. Not taking for granted hegemonic, western ways of understanding energy systems and explaining change, we rather depart from engagements with the diversity of changes that aggregate into transition pathways—a diversity that in the context of Africa is impossible to overlook. To implement such a pluralistic research agenda, scholars need more opportunities to network, exchange and publish.