Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland
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Greene, Mary, & Fahy, Frances. (2020). Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland. Energy Research & Social Science, 61, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101331
Recent advances in sociological investigations of energy-systems-change highlight the influence of a wide rangeof policies, beyond those typically considered relevant to energy, on energy demand. To this, a newfield of( non-) energy policy scholarship is exploring the ways in which policies across multiple societal sectors steer demand. However, much of this work has been conducted at the scale of institutions and systems, with com-paratively little work exploring the intersection of policy and everyday life. As a result, little is known about theways in which (non-)energy policies shape demand in the context of situated, domestic energy practices. Thispaper seeks to advance (non-)energy policy scholarship by connecting recent developments in systems-basedperspectives with situated practice-theoretical investigations of everyday practices. Drawing on biographic-narrative analysis of Irish individuals energy practices and their evolution over time, it highlights the potentialof experience-centred inquiry for generating novel empirical insights regarding the contexts and processes bywhich policies and practice intersect. An illustrative discussion of traces of policy and their influence on in-dividuals conduct reveal insights into the everyday contexts and socially differentiated ways in which policy steers action. Analysis reveals that (non-)energy policies of various kinds have worked to steer action by settingagendas, shaping public discourse and delimiting action. Individuals are posited as active agents mediating theintersection of policy and practice in everyday life. The paper concludes by outlining the parameters of a newresearch agenda for experience-centred explorations of the intersections of policy, practice and lives in energy-systems-change
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