Repowering Democracy: How Grassroots Energy Initiatives Are Changing the Face of Democracy in Europe
Building on my fieldwork in the UK and Poland, in this paper, I would like to investigate the potential of such groups for a repowering of democracy, i.e. a reformulation of democratic models and a reorganisation of energy production along more egalitarian lines. The main objective will be to analyse (1) the forms of politicisation and imaginaries of egalitarianism in Polish and British communities and (2) to describe efforts to draw up strategies for local and systemic social innovation in the field of democratic self-organisation of energy initiatives as well as, more broadly, a more democratic way of local self-government.
This paper will assess the claim that only innovations in democracy and local renewable energy solutions that are complementary and occur in parallel can offer comprehensive frameworks to maximise the impact of local initiatives on pressing societal issues.