What impacts will our choices about the futures of energy and resource extraction have on people and the future of democracy?

 

This research project is about community energy and the social impacts of shale gas developments.

Recently, a wave of local resistance to increasingly risky methods of fossil fuel extraction has swept across many countries in the world and most of Europe. Some of the most sustained civil disobedience against fracking took place in Poland, the UK, Ireland and Romania. In places where the protesters managed to make the energy corporations abandon the drilling sites, the communities are organising in egalitarian ways and forming new renewable energy co-operatives. The aim is to take responsibility for meeting their own energy needs in a way that is local and mitigates climate change. May new local energy co-operatives and grassroots mobilisations against hydraulic fracturing reveal the potential for a repowering of democracy?

 
 

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Anna Szolucha, about me:

I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway. I received my PhD from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth for a thesis about direct democracy in the Occupy movement in Ireland and the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find out more about my academic work here.

I also have many years of experience as a participant in social movements in several countries and have always had a vivid interest in the possibilities and practicalities of more democratic and egalitarian futures.