Energy Materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power


Wolfgang Stenzel (HWK)


Prof. Dr. Margarita M. Balmaceda, Seton Hall University (USA), former HWK/EURIAS Fellow 


  • Dr. Per Högselius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Prof. Dr. Corey Johnson, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines, University of Bremen (Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Doug Rogers, Yale University (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, University of Helsinki (Finland)


2018 – 2023

Statement of Problem

How do issues related to energy materiality (ie. the physical characteristics of different types of energy) affect the social implications of the use of different types of energy? How do the spatial aspects of the production/transformation/transit and use of each energy type affect the equation? Current research on energy materiality has largely neglected the spatial implications of reliance on various energy sources. Building on previous work on Science, Technology and Society (STS), this Study Group aims to bring together political scientists, geographers, anthropologists and specialists in Innovation Studies to rethink the impact of energy materiality, both fossil and renewables, on power relations as it takes place through issues of infrastructure and its related spatial impacts.

Expected Products

The main outcome of the study group will be a special issue of a journal on Energy materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power. In addition, individual or co-authored publications are expected on sub-areas of the SG interest, such as the impact of energy infrastructure on political power relations, and the impact of energy materiality on the role of producing, transit, processing and consumer areas.


January 22 - 25, 2018
June 25 - 28, 2018
January 7 - 11, 2019
June 16 - 20, 2019
January 20 - 24, 2020
virtual meeting: October 20 - November 4, 2020
June 1 - 3, 2022
January 10 - 14, 2023
May 30 - June 2, 2023



Balmaceda, M., et al. (2019). Energy materiality: A conceptual review of multi-disciplinary approaches. Energy Research & Social Science 56: 101220.

Balmaceda, M. M. (2022). "Introduction" (draft chapter 1 of book-in progress on The Last Frontier of Decarbonization: Hidden Industrial Carbon between Geopolitics and Climate Change). Workshop on Post-Soviet Politics and Economics, Harvard University: 25.

Heinrich, A. & Pleines, H. (2019). Towards a common European energy policy? Energy security debates in Poland and Germany, the case of the Nord Stream pipeline. In: Jenichen, A. & Liebert, U. (eds.): Europeanisation vs. Renationalisation. Learning from Crisis for European Political Development. Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich Publishers, pp. 169-182.

Högselius, P. (2018). Energy and geopolitics. Routledge.

Högselius, P. (2019).. Energy transnationalism. In: Energy and Geopolitics, pp. 155-184. Routledge, 2019.

Högselius, P. (2021). The hidden integration of Central Asia: the making of a region through technical infrastructures. In: Central Asian Survey, 12 Aug 2021,

Högselius, P. (2022). Atomic shocks of the old: Putting water at the center of nuclear energy history. Technology and culture63(1), 1-30.

Högselius, P. (forthcoming). Atomic Shocks of the Old: A Global History of Nuclear Energy

O’Lear, S., Dalby, S., Johnson, C., & VanDeveer, S. D. (2020). Looking ahead: environmental geopolitics research. In: A Research Agenda for Environmental Geopolitics (pp. 151-166). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Rogers, D. (2023). Petroprotein Dreams: Hydrocarbon Biotechnology and Microbial Life Worlds in the Middle East. In: Fuccaro, N. & Limbert, M.E. (eds.). Life Worlds of Middle Eastern Oil: Histories and Ethnographies of Black Gold. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pp. 198-220.

Rogers, D. (in progress) Eating Oil: An Earthly History (book project)

Tynkkynen, V.P. (2019). The Energy of Russia: Hydrocarbon Culture and Climate Change. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Koch, N. & Tynkkynen, V.P. (2019). The Geopolitics of Renewables in Kazakhstan and Russia. Geopolitics, 1-20.

Tynkkynen, V.P. (2019). Energy Governance in Russia: From a Fossil to a Green Giant? In: M. Knodt, M. & Kemmerzell J.(eds.), Handbook on the Energy Governance in Europe. New York: Springer.

Tynkkynen, V. P. (forthcoming 2024). Biopolitical Europe and Russia’s flows of violence. From Ostpolitik to Russia strategy. Edward Elgar Publishing.