2nd Energy & Society Conference

Joint midterm conference of 

European Sociological Association Environment and Society Research Network (RN12)

International Sociological Association Environment and Society Research Committee (RC24)

 in cooperation with  Polish Sociological Association

Krakow, 4th – 6th June 2014


Energy Transitions as Societal Transitions:

Challenges for the Present and the Future


Registration of participants will begin on Wednesday 4th June 2014 ,10:00

in Auditorium Maximum, Krupnicza 35


Late registration will be possible on Thursday and Friday (5th and 6 th June),

in the Institute of Sociology Jagiellonian University, Grodzka 52




Energy transitions are strongly linked to wider societal change. Questions remain, however, regarding how these links can be characterized and whether proposed energy transitions currently place enough emphasis on the implied transformations to societal structures, including habits, lifestyles, social structures and norms. Further, it is unclear whether the extent of change and sometimes quite radical implications for society are adequately captured in existing attempts to chart transitional pathways.

We invite all researchers interested in the social aspects of energy transitions to submit abstracts for the 2nd Conference of the International Energy and Society Network, which will be held at the Institute of Sociology (Jagiellonian University), Krakow, Poland, on June 4-6, 2014.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers interested in relations between energy and society and to provide an opportunity for them to connect with others for the purpose of international exchange and possible research collaboration in this area.

Keynote lectures:




Elizabeth Shove "Energy and society: resources and practices"

This presentation compares different ways of conceptualising the energy-society relation.  In the description of this conference, and in much existing work, energy is treated as a resource, the management and use of which impacts on society in many different ways.    Different questions  arise if we view energy not as a singular resource, but as one amongst other ‘ingredients' of specific social practices, each of which have trajectories and dynamics of their own.  In this talk I distinguish between these positions and consider the implications of a more comprehensive focus on the question of ‘what is energy for?'  As I show, this has important consequences for thinking about transitions and change.

Elizabeth Shove is professor of sociology and co-director of the DEMAND research centre (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) at Lancaster University, UK – www.demand.ac.uk.  Recent books include Sustainable Practices: Social theory and climate change Routledge, 2012, edited with Nicola Spurling, and The Dynamics of Social Practice, Sage, 2012. with Mika Pantzar and Matt Watson.


Krzysztof Gorlach: "Development as Movement:The Road to Sustainable Society"

The lecture will be divided into two parts. In the first one the issue of sustainable development will be discussed starting from the idea of eco-modernisation (two-fold concept) to the idea of the so-called simple sustainable development (three-fold concept) to the idea of the developed sustainable development (the "Decalogue" of the sustainable society). In the second part of the lecture the issue of human development will be discussed starting from the idea of linear and purposeful changes to the idea of development as freedom (with a special stress on Amartya Sen`s framework) to the idea of development as movement (with a special stress on the role of procedures and social movements in the processes of social change).    


Krzysztof Gorlach is a professor in sociology at Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. His main areas of research are class analysis, social movements and rural developments in Europe and United States. His publications include books:"Świat na progu domu rodzinne gospodarstwa rolne w Polsce w obliczu globalizacji", "Socjologia obszarów wiejskich: problemy i perspektywy", "W poszukiwaniu równowagi. Polskie rodzinne gospodarstwa rolne w Unii Europejskiej","Dynamika życia społecznego. Współczesne koncepcje ruchów społecznych" (co-editor Patrick H. Mooney).