„Socio-ecological Inequalities in the Emerging Bioeconomy. Transnational Perspectives on Local and Global Developments“
In recent years, several think tanks, governments, and supranational organisations have released strategies on the transition towards the bioeconomy. Definitions of the bioeconomy vary – from the focus on biotechnologies (USA) to the substitution of fossil for biomass sources (EU). The common political goal of these strategies is the promotion of green growth to mitigate the current socio-ecological crisis, with climate change being a central problem. Additionally, the development and extension of new technologies and innovations represent key drivers of this transition process. Consequently, research and development policies are a central pillar in most bioeconomy strategies, while the bioenergy sector based on biomass is gaining increasing relevance. Taking a transnational perspective, the workshop envisages a deeper understanding of how the socially and ecologically intertwined impacts of bioenergy development affect the (re-)production of inequalities. The main premise is that energy transitions are not only embedded in contested processes of social transformation; but that social relations of inequality stretching from the local to the global also permeate the transition from one energy system to another. The workshop is conceived as four paper sessions including topics such as knowledge production, biomass sourcing, land- and labour relations, and political inclusions and exclusions in the bioeconomy. Participants include authors from Southeast Asia, South and North America, and Europe.