Between hope, hype, and hell: electric mobility and the interplay of fear and desire in sustainability transitions

Kester, Johannes, Sovacool, Benjamin K, Noel, Lance and Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo (2020) Between hope, hype, and hell: electric mobility and the interplay of fear and desire in sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 35. pp. 88-102. ISSN 2210-4224

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Abstract

Conceptualizations and articulations of ‘the future’ play a persistent and important role in discussions about technology adoption and the broader domain of sustainability transitions. The Sociology of Expectations, part of the transitions and science and technology studies literature, specifically focusses on the performative role that desirable expectations play in the development and marketing of a technology. In this paper we argue that these insights can be coupled with the performative role of undesirable futures, as outlined by Critical Security Studies. Based on a qualitative diffractive reading of these twin literatures we argue that the performativity around desired and undesired futures, while closely related, constitutes two separate logics. A focus on expectations alone does not explain the initiation and subsequent success of a sustainable innovation nor that a focus on undesired futures fully explains the acceptance of security claims. The paper exemplifies these insights with a reflection on electric vehicle development.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Electric mobility, Uncertainty, Critical Security Studies, Sociology of Expectations, Automobility
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Francisco Dominguez
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 09:36
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2020 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/90092

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