Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 546455
Title Politiziced Visuals for Sustainable Energy: ‘Evidence’ of Candor and Deceit, or an Opportunity for Democratization?
Author(s) Gommeh, E.; Metze, T.A.P.
Event ECPR General Conference 2018, Hamburg, 2018-08-22/2018-08-25
Department(s) Public Administration and Policy
Publication type Contribution in proceedings
Publication year 2018
Abstract In a transition to sustainable energy, ‘citizen detectives’ provide substantial insights that contribute to accomplishing this transition. Their framings – both in words and images - could be included in these transformations as an important form of public accountability. In this paper we build on the idea of an ‘ocular democracy’ in which the democratic value of candor (sincerity) is almost extorted by the ‘eyes of the people’ and can no longer be ignored. On one hand, governing actors need to provide visual evidence to support their decisions and ‘give account’, on the other hand citizen detectives produce visuals to hold governing actors accountable. But, what is represented in these visuals?

This exploratory study of visual framings about shale gas and geothermal energy demonstrates that 'citizen detectives' reveal unknown or repressed information to critically assess the normative and technical framings by dominant discourse coalitions. They do so by producing referential, informational images; and condensation, emotion stirring images. While the referential visuals seem to represent new (interpretations of) information; the condensation visuals seem to represent (conflicting) concerns actors have. The referential visuals are most of all produced to give account for governing actions – or are produced to hold governors and businesses accountable for their actions. The condensation visuals are most of all used to mobilize other citizens and create a counter discourse –and work as the eye of the public that watches governing actors. Through the visuals, the meaning of a sustainable energy transition is politicized, negotiated, deliberated, and adapted in order to come to a more inclusive and democratic meaning and practice of a ‘sustainable energy transition’.
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