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Bioenergy as an empty signifier
Linköpings universitet, Tema vatten i natur och samhälle.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8110-4538
Linköpings universitet, Tema vatten i natur och samhälle.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article scrutinizes the bioenergy concept in the context of the three challenges of energy insecurity, climate change, and the agricultural crisis that, borrowing from Gramsci, constitute a “global organic crisis”. The analysis, based on theoretical concepts developed by Laclau and Mouffe, explores assessments, reports, policy papers, and other central documents from three influential international organizations, i.e., IEA, FAO, and IPCC, in the areas analysed. We argue that, as a floating signifier in a given field of discursivity, the bioenergy notion loses its unfixed ability to occupy specific positions and convey different meanings within the three overlapping discursive areas of energy, climate, and agriculture. These three discursive formations are “sutured” around the notion of bioenergy, where a hegemonic thread of capitalist economics, fixated on economic growth and presupposing the necessity of cost-effectiveness, results in internal contradictions within the signification, transforming bioenergy into an empty signifier.

Keyword [en]
bioenergy, discourse, climate change, energy security, agriculture, international organizations
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265400OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265400DiVA: diva2:865456
Available from: 2012-08-30 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-10-28

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Kuchler, Magdalena
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