Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 68, Issue 5, pp 515–528 | Cite as

Energy and the Anthropocene: security challenges and solutions

  • Jan FroestadEmail author
  • Clifford Shearing


This paper explores the role that energy regimes, and the search for energy security, has had in shaping humans and their societies, and the effects thereof. Energy enrolments through the domestication of plants and animals and the extraction and burning of increasingly energy- rich fuels enabled humans to build ever more productive and formidable societies, but also more complex and divided ones. Social stratification, combined with the new risks caused by the more intense interactions and entanglements that emerged between humans and nature, has culminated in the global environmental crises that humans are now facing. We conclude by arguing that an escape route from the destructive consequences that fossil fuel energy regimes have had for humans and their ecological security is provided by the emergence of electrical civilizations and the potential this provides for integrating energy and ecological securities.


Energy Security Anthropocene 



Both authors acknowledge funding support from the South Africa-Norway Research Cooperation (SANCOOP) Fund, the National Research Foundation of South Africa. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are ours alone and the agencies do not accept any liability in regard thereto.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Administration and Organizational TheoryUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Universities of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Universities of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Durban University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa

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