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Energy (in)security : world-making in an age of scarcity.

Bridge, G.J. (2015) 'Energy (in)security : world-making in an age of scarcity.', Geographical journal., 181 (4). pp. 328-339.


‘Energy security’ has quickly assumed a significant place in the lexicon of policy. Like other handy couplets for characterising socio-natural relations (such as carrying capacity and resource scarcity), energy security is a powerful framing device: it constructs worlds, normalises certain practices of resource use, and establishes grounds for intervention. In this paper, I explore some of the different ways in which energy (in)security is now being used, and reflect on the political work it currently performs. I highlight the historical conditions under which energy and security have become combined, the close association of energy security with crude oil imports, and the imprint that oil has left on the concept. Although geography has tended to interpret practices of security through either a territorial or biopolitical perspective, in this paper I consider how energy's securitisation proceeds through a set of imaginative and calculative practices (referred to here as ‘geo-metrics’). I use the language of ‘world-making’ to draw attention to the techno-political practices associated with securitising energy, and their capacity for constituting political ecological relations. I illustrate this with reference to a growing body of knowledge and expertise in the calculation and design of energy security indicators.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Energy security, Geopolitics, Techno-politics, Indicators.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Bridge, G. (2015), Energy (in)security: world-making in an age of scarcity. The Geographical Journal, 181(4): 328-339, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:01 August 2014
Date deposited:05 February 2015
Date of first online publication:26 November 2014
Date first made open access:16 November 2016

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