Deconstructing one highly contested environmental impact assessment of a large dam project in South Colombia, this book proposes the new Energy Data Justice Framework to assess energy projects for a just transition in Colombia and worldwide.
Economic Anthropology, 10(1): 55 - 64
Drawing on ethnographic research at an anti-fracking encampment at Preston New Road (PNR) in Lancashire, England, this article explores activists’ perceptions of work and responsibility.
Mette M. High
Cultural Anthropology 37(4)
At a time of a “private equity oil rush,” this essay explores how oil industry entrepreneurs with ambitions of setting up their own oil-production companies are encouraged to “dream big”—yet are ultimately disciplined and let down—by private equity finance in the state of Colorado in the United States. Motivated by a desire to “do oil differently,” these start-ups articulate utopian visions that draw on inequalities in extractive economies to promote an ethos of care and inclusion.
Emilka Skrzypek, Nicholas Bainton, John Burton, Eléonore Lèbre
This report uses results from the Just Transitions and the Pacific project to address the central dilemmas of the ‘energy transition-extractives nexus’, namely: as energy transitions drive global demand for ETMs, how do we account for and mitigate justice issues that arise from intensified pressure to extract in specific regions, like the Pacific for example?
Economy and Society, 2022.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with energy financiers in Houston, Texas, this paper explores how experts use a lexicon of models and metrics to conceptualize and construct allegories about future hydrocarbon projects and companies.
Energy Research & Social Science Volume 88, June 2022
While the dominant literature suggests that elites resist societal changes, this research highlights that energy elites are instrumental in the promotion of energy transitions. The findings in this article are based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in energy companies based in Oslo, Norway, and analysed using anthropological perspectives.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Volume 28, Issue 1
Through the ‘electricity stories’ circulated by tenants, I chart how the moral economy of infrastructure in a context of collective precarity redistributes marginalization and freedom in ways that always exceed political rationales of energy reforms and policies.
Critique of Anthropology. February 2022.
Drawing on fieldwork in an Adivasi (tribal) village adjacent to an opencast coal mine in Jharkhand, India, this article seeks to illustrate how, in a predominantly precarious labour environment, the possibility of formal employment as compensation for expropriated land, and the ways in which such employment enables class mobility, can play a salient role in shaping local political dynamics around dispossession.
Critique of Anthropology. 2021;41(3):303-319.
Drawing on ethnographic research in Houston, Texas, I explore how oil and gas experts negotiate social power and precariousness within the US hydrocarbon sector. In an industry long associated with corporate power, the careers of experts are precariously balanced on rising and falling hydrocarbon prices. This makes the social power these experts wield as fluid […]
Economic Anthropology 9(1), published online 17 August 2021
Drawing on ethnographic research in Houston, Texas, I explore how private equity financiers in the US hydrocarbon industry are empowered to define and take financial risks on our collective behalf. The US shale revolution could not have unfolded without the financial risk-taking activities of private equity financiers who channeled billions of dollars into US unconventional […]
Stanford University Press, 2021
. The Current Economy is an ethnography of electricity markets in the United States that shows the heterogenous and technologically inflected nature of economic expertise today. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among market data analysts, electric grid engineers, and citizen activists, this book provides a deep dive into the convoluted economy of electricity and its reverberations throughout daily life.
Edited by Nick Bainton and Emilka Skrzypek
Asia-Pacific Environment Monographs
Standing on the broken ground of resource extraction settings, the state is sometimes like a chimera: its appearance and intentions are misleading and, for some actors, it is unknowable and incomprehensible. It may be easily mistaken for someone or something else, like a mining company, for example.
Edited by Mette M. High and Jessica M. Smith
Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 30, Pages 1-116 (August 2017)
This Special Issue explores the anthropology of energy by highlighting the unique contributions an ethnographic perspective offers to understanding energy and ethics. We propose the term energy ethics to capture the ways in which people understand and ethically evaluate energy.
Edited by Mette M. High And Jessica M. Smith
Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute, Volume 25, Issue S1 (March 2019)
How energy dilemmas constitute important sites for the generation of anthropological knowledge, encouraging more insightful and inclusive discussions of the place of energy in human and more-than-human lives.