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Reconfiguring the city in the global South:
rationalities, techniques and subjectivities in the local governance of energy

LUQUE-AYALA, ANDRES,EDUARDO (2014) Reconfiguring the city in the global South:
rationalities, techniques and subjectivities in the local governance of energy.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Debates around climate change and resource security are reshaping the way cities conceive and develop their infrastructures. Electricity systems play a key role in this transformation, as cities across the world set out to implement local energy strategies via decentralised and low carbon energy systems. Such transformation is of particular relevance for cities in the global South, where rapid economic growth and an increase in energy consumption coexist with acute social needs and unmet infrastructure provision. Through a comparative study of two cities (Thane, in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India, and São Paulo, in Brazil) this thesis evaluates the way in which public and private stakeholders are implementing a new form of local energy generation through the use of domestic solar hot water (SHW) systems as a mechanism for reducing electricity consumption. By focusing on the governing mechanisms involved in scaling-up solar technologies and the ways by which these are mobilised to serve contrasting interests in the city, the thesis examines the emerging local governance of energy in the global South.

The thesis uses Foucault’s analytics of governmentality as a conceptual tool aimed at unpacking the different ways by which energy in the city, in its material and socio-political formations, is thought of, mobilised, and transformed. Through a combination of interviews, site visits, and ethnographic techniques, it examines how this transformation in urban infrastructures is changing the manner in which energy is governed, the spatial and socio-political implications of this transformation, and the way in which the material dimensions of SHW systems influence the transformation process. The thesis discusses the governmental rationales involved in the making of a local governance of energy, the key governmental techniques involved in operationalizing a solar energy regime, and the multiple ways in which energy subjects are imagined within this process.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:PhD Thesis, energy social science, solar hot water, Foucault, energy governance, India, Brazil, networked infrastructures, solar energy, cities and climate change, decentralised energy systems, electricity governance
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 May 2014 11:24

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