Call for Papers – RGS-IBG Annual Conference (2018)

RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2018, Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 August 2018, Cardiff University, Wales

The following sessions will be (co) sponsored by PERG:

  1. Energy and everyday life: Exploring lived experiences of energy systems change
  2. Climate adaptation as co-productive transformation: exploring the interfaces of science, policy and practice in multi-scalar contexts.
  3. Regulation, the state, and management of the built and natural environments


The call for papers for each session is listed below.

1. Energy and everyday life: Exploring lived experiences of energy systems change

Session Convenors:

Dr. Mary Greene, NUI Galway

Dr. Anne Schiffer, Leeds-Beckett University

This session explores the lived experience of energy systems change in diverse contexts. In the context of the predominant neoliberal approach to development, energy policies in both industrialised and developing countries have been predominantly techno-centric in nature. However, it is increasingly recognised that energy is not just a technical but also a deeply social issue, reflecting and shaping the socio-economic, cultural and political-economic structures of societies. Energy geographies has recently emerged as a rapidly growing cross-cutting subfield of human geographical inquiry in which contextualized approaches to understanding dynamics of energy system change are emerging to challenge eco-modernised and techno-centric approaches to transitions. Furthermore, the importance of the lived experience and practice of daily life as it plays out in domestic and community is also increasingly recognized by both scholars and practitioners working in energy transitions contexts. However, despite these promising developments towards more situated, contextual insights, many questions remain. For example, how do lives, practices and contexts intersect in the context of energy systems change? In what ways do power, capability and social differentiation (e.g. gender, class, race) interact in energy systems change? How are patterns and forms of social relations and interaction shaped by dynamics in energy systems? What potential do qualitative, experience-centred methodologies have for revealing insights into hitherto overlooked contextual processes and mechanisms shaping everyday energy practices? What can be learned by analysing the lived experience of energy transitions systems change as it plays out in diverse spatial and temporal contexts? How might ethnographic energy transition research inform policy at local, national and international scales? We invite papers addressing these and related themes in exploring the lived experience of energy systems change in a range of present-day and historical contexts, including domestic, community, urban, rural, developed, developing and (post-)colonial.

Keywords: Energy, social practice, transitions, every day, lived experience, everyday life, Global South, Global North

Please send your abstracts of no more than 300 words to Mary Greene ( and Anne Schiffer ( by Friday 9h February 2018.


2. Climate adaptation as co-productive transformation: exploring the interfaces of science, policy and practice in multi-scalar contexts.

 Session Convenors:

Charlotte Ford, Cardiff University

Andrew Kythreotis, Universiti Brunei Darussalam & Cardiff University

In line with the overarching aim of the conference of changing landscapes of geography, this session will explore how the science, policy and practice of climate adaptation has/is becoming transformative in nature at different geographical scales of governance. The session is underpinned by established trans-disciplinary debates surrounding the multi-scalar governance and risks of climate adaptation (Adger et al., 2005; Juhola and Westerhoff., 2011; Huitema et al., 2016) and recent debates surrounding how moral reasoning and procedural justice can more politically legitimise adaptation responses (Pelling et al., 2015; Adger et al., 2017; Holland, 2017). In particular this session aims to explore scientific, policy and practice innovations, co-productions and barriers to transformative adaptation that coalesce at/or between international, national and local geographical scales.

What are the prevalent issues that enable or disable ‘adaptation as transformation’ at different geographical scales? How can (co-productive) pathways of adaptation as transformation be successfully planned and implemented between scales, given that the international scale is the dominant locus of climate policy creation (Purdon, 2015)? Are there particular innovative co-production methods that can be used to simultaneously catalyse increased citizen-centred engagement and greater ‘enabling’ governance in promoting pathways of adaptation as transformation under uncertainty (Wise et al., 2014)? Can adaptation responses be made and implemented through the lens of social reform and imminent radical systems change at all ‘levels’ of society’ (Berrang-Ford, 2011; Adger et al., 2013).  If so, how can relevant actors working at different scales ensure adaptation risks are effectively communicated, governed and implemented at, across and between geographical scales, whilst taking account of social justice and moral reasoning?

In line with the above the session convenors welcome contributions on, but not limited to the following broad themes:

  • The multi-scalar governance of climate change adaptation
  • Climate change adaptation as transformation under uncertainty
  • Situated and innovative methods and case studies of climate change adaptation response at the international, national and local scales.
  • Climate change adaptation and citizen engagement that take account of moral reasoning and social justice issues.

The session will take the form of multiple paper presentations of 20 minutes, with a discussant (TBC) to draw together common themes/issues/barriers from all the papers presented.

Please send your abstracts of no more than 250 words to Charlotte Ford ( and Andrew Kythreotis ( by Wednesday 14th February 2018.

Charlotte Ford, School of Geography and Planning Cardiff University

Andrew Kythreotis, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/Institute of Policy Studies Universiti Brunei Darussalam


3. Regulation, the state, and management of the built and natural environments

Session convenor: Dr Ben Clifford, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL –

‘Deregulation’ has frequently been cited as a key pillar of neoliberalism, with an often unproblematic representation of the neoliberal modernisation of the state as involving a reduction in its regulatory role and capacity.  The exact relationship between the contemporary state and regulation has, however, been contested with some scholars highlighting that processes of privatisation have actually involved the creation of new regulatory fields as a ‘regulatory state’ that facilitates marketisation of emerging ever-wider spheres of social and environmental life (so called ‘reregulation’) (Castree, 2008; Beer et al, 2005). Although now quite a longstanding trend, governmental focus on deregulation has remained high in recent years. In the UK, the 2010-15 Coalition and current Conservative governments have promised a ‘bonfire of red tape’ and the enforcement of a ‘one-in-two-out’ rule for those seeking to establish new regulation (HM Government, 2015).  The UK’s departure from the European Union has also been heralded as an opportunity to reduce regulation, although calls to further reduce Building and Fire Regulations have become more muted since the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.  In the US, meanwhile, an Executive Order implemented in 2017 similarly requires a ‘one-in-two-out’ approach to regulation and President Trump was pictured in December cutting through a piece of red tape with a pair of golden scissors.  Negative rhetoric about regulation thus abounds, yet state regulation has been central to the drive for conservation and environmental protection and remains the key enabler that allows planning to influence private development (see, for example, McCarthy and Morling, 2015).  Given this importance of regulation for planning and the environment, in this session we invite theoretical and empirically-informed papers that further our understanding of the contemporary relationship between the state and regulation and the implications of regulatory reform in the planning and environmental arenas.

Please send your abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dr Ben Clifford ( by Friday 9th February 2018.

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