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"Practical recognition" as a suitable pathway for researching just energy futures : Seeing like a "modern" electricity user in Ghana

Title data

Boamah, Festus ; Rothfuß, Eberhard:
"Practical recognition" as a suitable pathway for researching just energy futures : Seeing like a "modern" electricity user in Ghana.
In: Energy Research & Social Science. Vol. 60 (February 2020) .
ISSN 2214-6296
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101324

Abstract in another language

Governmental and non-governmental actors promoting the universalisation of energy access and a just energy distribution for all envision spatial energy justice and recognition. Yet how and the extent to which these considerations offer practical solutions to the energy needs and visions of different social groups simultaneously is less evident. This is particularly crucial in Ghana where a just, ‘state-driven’ electricity provision connotes recognition of privileges of citizenship and an aura of ‘modernity’. Many urban households in Ghana are keenly installing Solar Home Systems (SHS) to mitigate frequent grid power outages and ensure stability in the performance of social and energy-saving practices which grant them recognition as ‘enlightened’ social groups or as individuals staying au courant with modern energy technologies. Also, the Ghanaian government recently attempted to achieve spatial energy justice by providing free 500 W SHS to non-electrified, ‘territorially remote’ communities. Many community residents, however, claim the SHS facility restricts performances of ‘modern’ practices in comparison to fellow ‘Ghanaians’ who have access to electrical grids and that its acceptance may perpetually reduce them to ‘second-class’/‘old-fashioned citizens’. Our empirical evidence suggests that energy justice visions remain fuzzy unless they are set in relation to how and why practical solutions to the energy
‘needs’ and ‘visions’ of socially and spatially differentiated groups could be realised. We call this practical recognition. In this paper, we advocate practical recognition as a suitable alternative pathway for researching just energy futures by emphasizing connections between justice, human agency and entitlement notions.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Social and Population Geography > Chair Social and Population Geography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eberhard Rothfuß
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 12:40
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 12:40
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/52994