Political ecologies of energy poverty in Zimbabwe
Studies that attribute energy poverty to a lack of technical resources abound in Zimbabwe. However, such line of reasoning falls short of giving a rigorous analysis of the existing political-economic factors and scalar politics. These include power dynamics, gender relations, class, historic patterns of dominance and marginalisation at different geographical scales and the discourse on energy poverty. Accordingly, a political ecology framework can address these theoretical gaps given its expansive scope. Using a qualitative approach, a political ecology analysis of the Zingondi Resettlement Area in Zimbabwe illuminates the interaction between these factors. Furthermore, it extends the argument through a Foucauldian view on apparatus of security in order to understand how the state uses its calculated power to address energy poverty. It concludes that energy poverty is a processual outcome, which is socially constructed. Therefore, there is need to pay attention to the complex and diverse nature of rural development. This includes embracing a development with and for the people approach, which takes into account pertinent aspects of the intended beneficiaries’ contexts. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
Foucault; Political ecology; Political economy; Power; Socially constructed
Factor analysis, Regional planning; Economic factors, Energy poverties, Foucault, Political ecology, Political economy, Power, Rigorous analysis, Socially constructed, Technical resources, Zimbabwe; Ecology