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Territorial practices and specialization as a response to EU normative changes. The case of hydroelectric concession dams’ renewal in the French Alpine Drac Valley: Communication Paper – ERSA / JRC Winter School 2021. Smart specialization: linking global changes to local implementation.

Abstract : This intervention aims to inform about the usages of law in the concrete shaping of European energy systems. Since the 1990s, law has been edified as the preferred vehicle of energy governance in Europe. It is deemed effective to tackle the demanding shifts in production, supply and consumption practices required by global changes. Yet, few researches have considered the role of law in constructing new energy regimes, in territories. How does the transition concretely take place and how does the use of legal instruments participate in developing new energy spatialities? My approach is original in that it considers law not as a strictly legal tool, but as an instrument of spatial governance of the energy transition. The European Union, well known for its normative creativity, provides an ideal terrain for observing the progressive entry of energy concerns into law. More than a constraint, judged incomplete or inefficient, legal rules are a politically-constructed and unevenly-distributed resource, from which stems a vast panel of spatial strategies. The geographic approach differs from that of law in that it expands the understanding of what is often considered as mere regulatory or spatial backgrounds. Field-based, pragmatic enquiries provide essential keys to unveiling the concrete evolution of energy practices. My intervention thus explores some of these interactions between space and law, termed as geo-legal strategies, through the case of hydroelectric dam concessions renewal in France. This case draws from a fine-grained analysis of energy systemic imbrications in society to inform compartments of geo-legal change. Hence, this communication is intended as an introduction to the modelling of geo-legal interactions and as an invitation to greater discussion between jurists and geographers, at a time when justice concerns are set as a critical milestone in the endeavor to design transition pathways in Europe.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03115389
Contributor : Emmanuelle Santoire <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 3:57:01 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 5, 2021 - 9:44:50 AM

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Emmanuelle Santoire. Territorial practices and specialization as a response to EU normative changes. The case of hydroelectric concession dams’ renewal in the French Alpine Drac Valley: Communication Paper – ERSA / JRC Winter School 2021. Smart specialization: linking global changes to local implementation.. ERSA / JRC Winter School 2021. Smart specialization: linking global changes to local implementation., ERSA / JRC, Jan 2021, online, Spain. ⟨halshs-03115389⟩

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