Energy futures: Five dilemmas of the practice of anticipatory governance

Sarah R. Davies, Cynthia Selin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Scopus citations


    Public participation has become standard practice in both environmental communication and science and technology studies, with such engagement increasingly moving "upstream" to the early stages of technological development. One framework for these activities is anticipatory governance, in which foresight and public and stakeholder engagement are used to reflect on - and direct - the impacts of new technology. In this essay we draw on our experience of anticipatory governance, in the shape of the " NanoFutures" project on energy futures, to present a reflexive analysis of engagement and deliberation. We draw out five tensions of the practice of deliberation on energy technologies. Through tracing the lineages of these dilemmas, we discuss some of the implications of these tensions for the practice of civic engagement and deliberation in a set of questions for this community of practitioner-scholars.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)119-136
    Number of pages18
    JournalEnvironmental Communication
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


    • Anticipatory Governance
    • Deliberation
    • Energy
    • Nanotechnology
    • Public Participation
    • Reflexivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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