Assemblages of energy and equity: Rearticulating Illich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter uses the work of Ivan Illich to present a methodology for creating more democratic and liberatory energy assemblages. Illich argued that excessive energy use was a corrupting influence on society, introducing social inequality, technocracy, and social control as well as an addiction to increasing levels of energy consumption. This chapter uses Illich’s analysis of energy use as an exemplar of what he calls counterfoil research which seeks to analyze the distribution of agency within a society with special attention paid to tools. After marking the anthropocentric limitations of Illich’s approach, the chapter draws from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Rosi Braidotti in arguing for a posthuman variation on counterfoil research that considers the multiple and multi-scalar dimensions of energy in terms of both power and affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy Democracies for Sustainable futures
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128227961
ISBN (Print)9780128227978
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Assemblage
  • Conviviality
  • Counterfoil research
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Ivan Illich
  • Posthuman
  • Rosi Braidotti

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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