The paper analyzes the role of civil society in Italy’s energy transition with particular attention paid to those forms of social innovation developing new energy pathways alternative to the dominant ones. The international literature emphasizes the weakness of such initiatives in southern Europe as compared to Northern European countries. However, there is a lack of analysis of empirical cases in this area, as well as convincing explanations for the lagging behind of Southern European countries. Against this background, on the basis of qualitative research centered on semi-structured interviews with civil society actors, we analyze the main grassroots initiatives emerging in Italy in regard to the production, consumption, and recently the provision, of renewable energy. In the discussion part of the paper, we explore these innovative practices with a comparative approach taking Germany as the main reference point. Hence we explain the fragility of Italian experience in relation to structural socioeconomic characteristics of the country – namely municipal socialism and dualism of the capitalist system – and to the evolution of the Italian cooperative movement. Eventually we also assess the potential of emerging initiatives for challenging the existing centralized energy system.

Does civil society matter? Challenges and strategies of grassroots initiatives in Italy's energy transition

OSTI, GIORGIO
2016

Abstract

The paper analyzes the role of civil society in Italy’s energy transition with particular attention paid to those forms of social innovation developing new energy pathways alternative to the dominant ones. The international literature emphasizes the weakness of such initiatives in southern Europe as compared to Northern European countries. However, there is a lack of analysis of empirical cases in this area, as well as convincing explanations for the lagging behind of Southern European countries. Against this background, on the basis of qualitative research centered on semi-structured interviews with civil society actors, we analyze the main grassroots initiatives emerging in Italy in regard to the production, consumption, and recently the provision, of renewable energy. In the discussion part of the paper, we explore these innovative practices with a comparative approach taking Germany as the main reference point. Hence we explain the fragility of Italian experience in relation to structural socioeconomic characteristics of the country – namely municipal socialism and dualism of the capitalist system – and to the evolution of the Italian cooperative movement. Eventually we also assess the potential of emerging initiatives for challenging the existing centralized energy system.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629615300979
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Osti_Does civil society matter.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Digital Rights Management non definito
Dimensione 375.29 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
375.29 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
2869710_Osti_Does civil society matter-PostPrint.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Post Print VQR3
Tipologia: Bozza finale post-referaggio (post-print)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 765.54 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
765.54 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2869710
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 75
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 65
social impact