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Sinan Erensü
Sinan Erensü
2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellow

sinanerensu@googlemail.com

Sinan Erensü is a political ecologist who received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2016 and an MPhil from Cambridge University in 2006, both in sociology. Between 2016 and 2018 he was a Keyman Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University, where he taught energy politics and the global commons. His dissertation, “Fragile Energy: Power, Nature and Politics of Infrastructure in the ‘New Turkey,’” explores the political work energy infrastructures do in 21st-century Turkey, with a particular focus on small hydropower investments in Turkey’s Black Sea coast and grassroots mobilization against them. He has edited two books in Turkish: Sudan Sebepler (Reasons of Water), which examines the politico-spatial role of hydropower in Turkey’s developmentalist trajectory and features eighteen original, empirically rich articles, and İsyanın ve Umudun Dip Dalgası (Undercurrents of Hope and Uprising), a reader on the history of urban and environmental conflicts in Turkey.

Erensü is currently working on a book manuscript, Authority in Concrete: Infrastructural Politics of Dispossession, addressing the growing sense of urgency surrounding the adequacy, appeal, and equity of public infrastructures. His research and teaching interests include environmental and political sociology, urban and rural studies, sociology of development, social movements, water and energy infrastructures, and politics of dispossession. His work as a Mercator-IPC fellow will focus on the notion of energy democracy and the ways in which citizens can claim stake in energy policy and production, a policy realm that is traditionally restricted. Erensü is one of the founding members of, and Director of Research and Education at, Mekanda Adalet Derneği (Center for Spatial Justice), an Istanbul-based non-profit working toward collective creation of democratic, accessible, ecological and fair urban and environmental spaces.

His work can be accessed at http://umn.academia.edu/SinanErensü.

Project: “When Locals Generate: Limits and Potentials of Energy Cooperatives for a Democratic Energy Transition”

Despite the growing awareness of climate change, energy politics still appears to be out of reach for ordinary citizens. Energy decisions are made behind closed doors and at international summits without much public input, triggering sentiments of anxiety, helplessness, and indifference. Basic practices that could bolster citizen participation in the implementation of energy policy, such as timely briefing of the public and the establishment of feedback and consent mechanisms (let alone participatory planning and budgeting), are looked down upon and ignored even at the local level.

Concerned about the distance between local communities, politics of climate change, and practices of energy transition, this research asks how local communities can claim voice and control over their own energy needs. Scholars and activists have lately conceptualized and promoted the concept of energy democracy with the aim to establish just transition mechanisms that address historic and spatial inequalities, speak to local needs, welcome citizen participation, and decentralize decision-making and governance of energy systems. Despite its increased appeal, however, energy democracy fails to go beyond being a buzzword in the absence of tangible models. Renewable energy cooperatives are one of the few existing institutions through which current prospects of energy democracy can be tested, questioned, and improved.

İklim Politikalarında Biden Etkisi: İnkar Çağının Sonu Mu?

2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellow Sinan Erensü and Climate Change Cluster Coordinator Ümit Şahin's policy brief "İklim Politikalarında Biden Etkisi: İnkar Çağının Sonu Mu?" was published in April 2021.

Click here to download the document.

Assessing the COVID-19 Pandemic and Climate Crisis Together

2019/20 Mercator/IPC Fellow Sinan Erensü and Climate Change Cluster Coordinator Ümit Şahin's policy brief "Assessing the COVID 19 Pandemic and Climate Crisis Together (COVID-19 Pandemisini ve İklim Krizini Birlikte Okumak) was published in December 2020.

Click here to download the document.

"Nasıl bir Dünya? Nasıl bir Türkiye?" with Güneşin Oya Aydemir ve Dr. Sinan Erensü

İkizdere'den Kaz Dağları'na Doğa Mücadelesi

Salgın ve Toplum - "Paris Anlaşması'nın 5. Yılında COVID-19 Pandemisi ve İklim Krizi"

22 December 2020

Climate Cafe Talks 13 - Enerjiyi Toplumsallaştırmak: Kuram ve Uygulamada Enerji Demokrasisi

The thirteenth of the Climate Café Talks series took place with 2019/20 Mercator IPC Fellow Sinan Erensü’s talk on "Enerjiyi Toplumsallaştırmak: Kuram ve Uygulamada Enerji Demokrasisi" on December 16, 2020.

"Nasıl bir Dünya? Nasıl bir Türkiye" with Sinan Erensü and Berk Esen

Amerika'daki İtirazın Türkiye'deki Karşılığı Nedir?

"Nasıl bir Dünya? Nasıl bir Türkiye?" with Fikret Adaman and Sinan Erensü

Salgın Günlerinde Toplumsal Adalet ve Dayanışma

Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows

We welcome our 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows, Andrea Weiss, Sinan Erensü, Ellen Kollender, Akgün İlhan, and Gökçe Uysal.

Andrea Weiss | Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railroad: Geopolitical Imagery and Turkey’s Role in the EU’s Europe-Asia Connectivity

Sinan Erensü | When Locals Generate: Limits and Potentials of Energy Cooperatives for a Democratic Energy Transition

Ellen Kollender | Voices of Civil Society Actors on Inclusive Education in Times of Forced Migration: Case Studies in Germany and Turkey

Akgün İlhan | Tracing Possibilities of Urban Water Demand Management in the Climate Change Age in Turkey: Deriving Lessons from Istanbul and Berlin

Gökçe Uysal | Refugees’ Integration into the Labor Market: What Can Turkey and Germany Learn from Each Other?

Climate Cafe Talks 13 - Enerjiyi Toplumsallaştırmak: Kuram ve Uygulamada Enerji Demokrasisi

The thirteenth of the Climate Café Talks series took place with 2019/20 Mercator IPC Fellow Sinan Erensü’s talk on "Enerjiyi Toplumsallaştırmak: Kuram ve Uygulamada Enerji Demokrasisi" on December 16, 2020.

Please click here to watch the webinar.

Please click here for more information about the Climate Cafe Talks.

2019 Madrid Climate Summit – Impressions from COP25

The Initiative convened the panel titled “2019 Madrid Climate Summit – Impressions from COP25” with the participation of Climate Change Studies Coordinator Ümit Şahin, 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellow Sinan Erensü, and Semra Cerit Mazlum from Marmara University, on December 19, 2019 at IPC Karaköy.

The Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows

The Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows was held on October 21, 2019 at Soho Istanbul.  The event began with welcoming remarks by Fuat Keyman, followed by remarks from Michael Schwarz, Senem Aydın-Düzgit, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Atila Eralp, and Michael Thumann. The welcoming remarks were followed by a movie screening that introduced the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows Akgün İlhan, Andrea Weiss, Ellen Kollender, Gökçe Uysal, and Sinan Erensü.