We are now issuing the calls for papers for accepted workshops – see the calls here

Call for Papers

Fourth Energy and Society Conference: Energy transitions in a divided world

We are now issuing the calls for papers and panellists for accepted workshops – see the calls here

The fourth Energy and Society Conference will take place in Exeter, UK, from 3 to 5 September 2018.  

We aim to bring together researchers interested in the social dimensions of energy, to exchange insightful ideas and create opportunities for collaboration. We invite contributions from sociology, other social sciences and interdisciplinary networks.

This time the conference theme is Energy transitions in a divided world.  The theme reflects recent developments around the world that have been linked to a decline in social and spatial cohesion and cooperation: the onward march of individualism, privatisation and deregulation associated with neoliberal principles, and the rise of nationalism within and beyond Europe. The Brexit vote in the UK and the Trump presidency in the US are just two manifestations of these processes. But what are the impacts of these wider social transformations for future energy systems?

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

Catherine Mitchell (University of Exeter)

Harald Rohracher (Linköping University)

This theme is intended to spark debate and discussion, but we encourage submissions on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to the following:

  • Local capacities, responsibilities and strategies in energy governance
  • Public participation in transforming energy systems and ‘citizen energy’
  • International cooperation and the impact of Brexit on Europe's energy transition
  • Transition strategies: From grid interconnection to sharing and sufficiency
  • Theoretical approaches to energy transitions and critical perspectives
  • Social justice, energy poverty and (future) energy systems
  • Dynamics and patterns of energy consumption
  • Smart meters, smart appliances, smart grids, smart places
  • Embodiment and energy: habits, dispositions, practical knowledge
  • Green economy, circular economy, and visions of the future
  • Energy discourses – economic, political and environmental narratives
  • Methods for operationalising sociological theories on energy transitions
  • Energy-water-food-resource-nexus
  • Living labs/real life laboratories in energy research

We encourage the submission of abstracts for presentation in traditional conference session format as well as for roundtables and poster presentations. We also welcome proposals for workshops organised by participants. All session and workshop slots will be 90 minutes.

Workshops are meant to discuss a specific issue reflecting the conference theme, or the contribution of social analysis to energy research and policy. The discussion should be based on short inputs, and actively involve participants. Interactive formats are encouraged. In roundtable sessions paper presenters will have more time for discussion than in traditional sessions. This format is particularly useful for presenting work in progress (e.g. doctoral thesis) and early stage ideas for discussion with peers. Poster presenters will be given space in a session for a 3 minutes short presentation and posters will be displayed throughout the conference.


  • Abstracts (oral, roundtable or poster presentations): 150-200 words, plus authors, affiliations, and email addresses.
  • Workshop proposals: the proposals should provide a title and a brief abstract (150-200 words). Workshops can contain up to four presentations. If the workshop involves individual presentations, the proponent organisers need to include a title and abstract for each paper (150 words, plus names and affiliations).

 Authors cannot present more than one paper as lead-author. Abstracts must be submitted in English.

Please submit your abstracts and workshop proposals to: energysociety2018@exeter.ac.uk

The deadline for the submission of abstracts and workshop proposals is 31 January 2018. Authors will be informed whether or not their abstract or workshop proposal is accepted by early March 2018.

The anticipated registration fees* for members of the Research Network 12 Environment and Society of the European Sociological Association, for non-members, and for students are listed below.  Please note that early bird registration rates are available.

*Fees will be confirmed in March 2018.


Members ESA RN 12


Standard fee

Early bird (until 31 May 2018)








Social events include a welcome reception, an optional conference dinner, and excursions.

We look forward to welcoming you to Exeter.

For further information please contact: Catherine Butler (c.butler@exeter.ac.uk) and Karen Bickerstaff (k.bickerstaff@exeter.ac.uk)

Scientific Committee

Françoise Bartiaux, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

Karen Bickerstaff, University of Exeter (UK)

Alena Bleicher, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (Germany)

Catherine Butler, University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences (UK)

Matthias Gross, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ and University of Jena (Germany)

Ana Horta, Universidade de Lisboa - Instituto de Ciências Sociais (Portugal)

Pia Laborgne, European Institute for Energy Research and Institute for Sociology/University of Freiburg (Germany)

Sophie Nemoz, Université de Franche-Comté (France)

Giorgio Osti, Università degli Studi di Trieste - Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali (Italy)

André Schaffrin, University of Cologne (Germany)

Luísa Schmidt, Universidade de Lisboa - Instituto de Ciências Sociais (Portugal)

Maria Swiatkiewicz-Mosny, Institute of Sociology - Jagiellonian University (Poland)

Aleksandra Wagner, Institute of Sociology - Jagiellonian University (Poland)

Markus Winkelmann, ITAS/KIT (Germany