Energy (in)security: world-making in an age of scarcity
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Title: Energy (in)security: world-making in an age of scarcity

Speaker: Prof. Gavin Bridge

Date/Time: Friday, June 12, 2015, 11:00-12:30

Place: Istanbul Policy Center

Abstract: “Energy security” has quickly assumed a significant place in the lexicon of policy. Like other handy couplets for characterizing socio-natural relations (such as carrying capacity and resource scarcity), energy security is a powerful framing device: it constructs worlds, normalizes certain practices of resource use, and establishes grounds for intervention. “Energy (in)security: world-making in an age of scarcity” will explore some of the different ways in which energy (in)security is now being used and reflect on the political work it currently performs. Prof. Gavin Bridge will highlight the historical conditions under which energy and security have become combined, the close association of energy security with crude oil imports, and the imprint that oil has left.Although geography has tended to interpret practices of security through either a territorial or biopolitical perspective, this presentation will consider how energy’s securitization proceeds through a set of imaginative and calculative practices (referred to here as “geo-metrics”). This presentation will utilize the language of “world-making” to draw attention to the techno-political practices associated with securitizing energy and their capacity for constituting political ecological relations. Based on his recent article published in The Geographical Journal (2014), Bridge will illustrate “Energy (in)security: world-making in an age of scarcity” with reference to a growing body of knowledge and expertise in the calculation and design of energy security indicators. 

Bio: Prof. Gavin Bridge is an economic and resource geographer whose research centers on the extractive industries of oil, gas, and mining. He holds a PhD from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, USA. He is Editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and was previously Editor of Geoforum from 2009 to 2012. He is the co-founder and former Chair of the Energy Geographies Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Political Geography and Mineral Economics. He is the co-author (with Philippe Le Billon) of Oil (Polity Press), which examines the new geopolitics of oil. Prof. Bridge worked at University of Oklahoma (1997-2003), Syracuse University, New York (2003-2005), and University of Manchester (2005-2013). Currently he is a professor at the Department of Geography, Durham University and affiliated with Durham Energy Institute. He is one of the editors of The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology (forthcoming in 2015).