Spatializing energy justice

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Contributed date

May 17, 2020 - 10:35pm

Critical Commentary

This scholarly research article written by Stefan Bouzaraovski and Neil Simcock from the Department of Geography at University of Manchester in the UK establishes a spatial justice framework for energy justice to address energy vulnerabilities more adequately. The article is a meta-analysis derived from a review of 126 academic contributions using the thematic analysis approach. By coding articles into four headings: “‘landscapes of material deprivation’, ‘geographic underpinnings of energy affordability’, ‘vicious cycles of vulnerability’, and ‘spaces of misrecognition,” (641). The authors expound upon their findings by investigating energy justice through a spatial justice framework, exploring these through the lens of theoretically positioned and derived concepts of distributive, procedural, and recognition relation to justice claims and spreading equity. The authors create an argument for the application of ‘spatial justice’ to energy poverty and vulnerability through a multi-scalar approach (energy, economic, cultural, and environmental) to address spatially uneven vulnerabilities and injustices that are (re)produced through sociopolitical structural actors. They argue that it is essential to look at these problems through their structural dynamics that, “(re)produce spatial inequalities and energy vulnerability at the regional and national level – such as institutional energy restructuring, uneven development, and stigmatizing cultural attitudes” (646). They suggest that “measures to alleviate energy poverty should span the whole energy system, rather than focusing solely on the ‘consumption’ end of the chain,” as an approach to address global environmental issues and other inequalities across the world in a more effective way. Broadly stated, this article cross-cuts energy vulnerability concerns through its exploration by stating “energy poverty and vulnerability are not the responsibility of variations in individual ‘choices’, but instead predominantly result from structural geographical inequities that are engrained in various stages of energy systems, and, moreover, in the fundamental infrastructural, economic, and cultural make-up of societies” (645).


Bouzarovski, S., & Simcock, N. (2017). Spatializing energy justice. Energy Policy, 107, 640-648.


English, British

Group Audience

  • - Private group -

Cite as

Stefan Bouzaraovski and Neil Simcock and Department of Geography at University of Manchester, "Spatializing energy justice", contributed by James Gall, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 17 May 2020, accessed 13 July 2024.