Disputas Elisabeth Tømmerbakk (FSV)

20 april 2018 10:15 - 20 april 2018 15:30

Auditorium Pauline Skar (A10), Bodø

Ph.d.-kandidat Elisabeth Tømmerbakk skal holde prøveforelesning og disputas for graden Philosophiae Doctor (ph.d.), ved Fakultet for samfunnsvitenskap, Nord universitet.

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Ph.d.-kandidat Elisabeth Tømmerbakk.

Tittel på avhandlingen:

Moving Towards a «Post-Carbon» Society? The challanges of non-extraction policies: The cases of Lofoten and Yasuni-ITT

Tittel på prøveforelesningen:

Discuss the relevance of Actor Network Theory for methodological challenges in sociological studies of nature

Tid for prøveforelesning: 10:15 – 11:15
Tid for disputas: 12:15 – 15:30
Sted: Auditorium Pauline Skar (A10), Bodø


  • Hovedveileder: Professor Randi Kaarhus, Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet
  • Medveileder: Postdoktor Maria Antonieta Guzman, UiO


  • Førsteamanuensis Steffen Dalsgaard, IT University of Copenhagen
  • Forskningsleder Ingrid Bay-Larsen, Nordlandsforskning
  • Professor Anne Jorunn Berg, Nord universitet/ Universitetet i Oslo (Koordinator)

Prøveforelesningen og disputasen er åpen for alle interesserte tilhørere. Avhandlingen er tilgjengelig ved å kontakte Marianne Haugane Andersen, e-post: marianne.h.andersen@nord.no / tlf.: 75 51 76 78. 


This thesis addresses some of the controversies and uncertainties associated with reducing the extensive exploitation of fossil fuels, due to their role in global warming. The scope of this inquiry is to explore the implications for political decision making and the construction of national policies that enable reconciling multiple and, often, conflicting agendas. Emphasis is specifically placed on how oil and climate are entangled and how this relationship is politically handled and worked upon in practice.

The complexity of the energy and climate challenges the world faces today exhibits the interrelatedness between a series of uncertainties and processes that require a “glocal” optic as local becomes global and vice versa. This situation demands an “unbounded” understanding of scales, that is, not as fixed or stable dimensions but as part of a moving and transforming network. An important point of departure are the various environmental, political, technological, and economic challenges related to climate change and the required transition towards a low-carbon energy system.

The thesis specifically explores the question why a transition towards a “post-carbon” society is so difficult to accomplish by examining how the relationship between petroleum production and climate change is politically framed and negotiated in contested cases. The question is approached through a process-oriented comparative case study of Lofoten, located in the Norwegian Sea above the Arctic Circle, and Yasuní-ITT, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The cases constitute relevant sites to study empirically how the relationship between oil and climate is framed and enacted, as they both belong to oil-exporting countries with highly oil-dependent economies. While Lofoten and Yasuní are specific geographic locations that present particular environmental and cultural characteristics, the cases are not the geographic places themselves but the ongoing political processes and socioenvironmental controversies that arise from the debate regarding whether or not to extract oil in these highly sensitive areas.

The empirical data the thesis rests on are a combination of documentary research and qualitative interviews with informants in both countries. As a multi-sited and multi-level inquiry, the focus of comparison moves between the cases but also across scales, as the controversies are distributed and occur simultaneously at many different locations. This inquiry, by drawing on Science and Technology Studies (STS) in combination with Actor-Network Theory (ANT), shows that oil takes on different “shapes” and becomes different things in various political, technological, environmental and economic practices. Today, the climate issue increasingly interferes with how oil is politically framed at different levels, which adds to the unstable and ambiguous character of oil in a way that goes far beyond its economic value as an energy commodity.