Conceptualizing Germany’s Energy Transition

Institutions, Materiality, Power, Space

  • Ludger Gailing
  • Timothy Moss

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Timothy Moss, Ludger Gailing
    Pages 1-9
  3. Sören Becker, Ross Beveridge, Andreas Röhring
    Pages 21-41
  4. Timothy Moss, Sören Becker, Ludger Gailing
    Pages 43-68
  5. Ludger Gailing, Timothy Moss
    Pages 109-119
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 121-147

About this book


This is the first book to explore ways of conceptualizing Germany’s ongoing energy transition. Although widely acclaimed in policy and research circles worldwide, the Energiewende is poorly understood in terms of social science scholarship. There is an urgent need to delve beyond descriptive accounts of policy implementation and contestation in order to unpack the deeper issues at play in what has been termed a 'grand societal transformation.' The authors approach this in three ways: First, they select and characterize conceptual approaches suited to interpreting the reordering of institutional arrangements, socio-material configurations, power relations and spatial structures of energy systems in Germany and beyond. Second, they assess the value of these concepts in describing and explaining energy transitions, pinpointing their relative strengths and weaknesses and exploring areas of complementarity and incompatibility. Third, they illustrate how these concepts can be applied – individually and in combination – to enrich empirical research of Germany’s energy transition. 


path dependency discursive insitutionalism depoliticizaation governmentality Energy transitions Energiewende bioenergy regions wind energy development energy efficiency waste-to-energy remunicipalization energy infrastructure political geography

Editors and affiliations

  • Ludger Gailing
    • 1
  • Timothy Moss
    • 2
  1. 1.Leibniz Inst for Research on Society and Space (IRS)ErknerGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz Inst for Research on Society and Space (IRS)ErknerGermany

Bibliographic information