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Making climate public: energy monitoring and smart grids as political participation

Knox, H; (2021) Making climate public: energy monitoring and smart grids as political participation. Journal of the British Academy , 9 (s9) pp. 183-204. 10.5871/jba/009s9.183. Green open access

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Abstract

This article presents the findings of ethnographic research in the UK with a network of engineers, activists, and citizens involved in developing smart energy monitoring systems and community smart grids. The paper explores how everyday uses of data, material evidence, and sensory information on material and thermodynamic processes that appear in such projects, are opening up new spaces for public participation in climate change politics. Here, familiar discursive and deliberative forms of democratic participation are supplemented by what I term material diagnostics—a practice of public participation that revolves around a collective effort to unpack and rethink infrastructures as sites of climate action. Building on these findings, the paper suggests that everyday digitally informed experiments with urban infrastructures have the potential to extend the kinds of political subjectivities and participatory politics that are possible, as governments seek to transition to a net-zero future.

Type: Article
Title: Making climate public: energy monitoring and smart grids as political participation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5871/jba/009s9.183
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/009s9.183
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The author(s) 2021. This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.
Keywords: Public engagement, climate change, digital, data, anthropology, ethnography, participation, publics, community, energy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137154
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