Contested energy spaces

Contested energy production and society

Climate changes and energy production can be socially disruptive. Social and political turmoil related to climate change and energy production often appear to be “local”, but are closely connected with national and global networks and systems. The industrial mass production of energy is often adding to the burden of human and natural environments, creating cumulative effects across geographical scales.

SpaceLab projects on contested energy spaces focus on multi-scalar governance; the workings of power relations and complex socio-ecological assamblages of energy spaces, in order to analyse and understand both contemporary and future challanges related to global energy demands.

Geographical cases are drawn from Canada, Indonesia and Norway.


Current projects on contested energy spaces

Recovering complexity: contested energy spaces and the politics of places

Contested energy spaces in Alberta, Canada are comprised of stakeholders mobilising different forms of resources in order to protect and enhance their stakes. This project looks at business, government and indigenous partake in governance processes covering all scales, from the local to the global.

Feeding the shadow state: the role of CSR in Indonesian Governance

By exploring social investments by Norwegian Oil giant Statoil in the remote municipality of Mamuju, West Sulawesi, we reveal how CSR turns into yet another feeding station for the shadow state – the informal financial structure of an emerging economy struggling to cast off its old authoritarian structures. Part of NRC financed research project ENERGETHICS.

The game of natural resources after oil
A concrete example of how the need for restructuring and growth in Norwegian district municipalities is in conflict with the protection of culture and nature, and how we should understand the power play around these issues. By adopting newer geographical theory, we analyse the power struggle between supporters and opponents of mining plans in Kvalsund, Norway.



Haarstad, H, and Wanvik, T (2016): Carbonscapes and beyond – conseptualizing the instabilities of oil landscapes. Progress in Human Geography

Wanvik, Tarje and Haarstad, Håvard (2015): Geographies of the Extractive Hot Zone: Place as Multi Dimensional Assemblages (in Norwegian), in Berg et al. (eds): Place – New theories in a Norwegian Context. Oslo, Fagbokforlaget

Wanvik, T. 2015. Governance transformed into Corporate Social Resposibility (CSR). Extractive Industry and Society

Wanvik, Tarje 2014: Encountering a Multi Dimensional Assemblage – The case of Norwegian Corporate Social Responsibility activities in Indonesia. In Norwegian Journal of Geography

Haarstad, H. 2014. Cross-scalar dynamics of the resource curse: Constraints on local participation in the Bolivian gas sectorJournal of Development Studies, 50, No. 7, pp. 977-990.

Haarstad, H. In press. Natural resources and the development conundrum. In: Grugel, J and Hammet, D. Handbook of International Development. Palgrave Macmillan.

In public media

Wanvik, T. 2015: Varsellampene bør blinke nå, Bergens Tidende, August 7, 2015

Wanvik, T. 2015. Forvarsel om et dårligere samfunn, Bergens Tidende, April 23 2015

Wanvik, T. 2013: Større avstand, mindre makt (Bergens Tidende )