About the lab

Energy research and education platform of the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, the Czech Republic

Featured projects (14)

Project
The goal of this project is to provide a platform for discussion about issues related to energy politics, policy and governance. One of the aim of this is to establish an ECPR Standing Group on Energy Policy Research (or with similar name), however, the platform should serve energy policy community in general. Members are encouraged to share their research, ask questions, post calls for papers, etc. Also, do not forget to fill in your e-mail address into the googlesheet below so we can let the sheer amount of energy-interested researchers speak for itself when presenting our proposal to ECPR: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OV-GYUMM_EAbiQYfOWUybGRUKeLZ4TYjgBfFMa3ZQCM/edit#gid=0
Project
Analysis of conduct of Russian stat-owned companies active in natural gas and oil sectors in the States of the Balkan Peninsula. The aim is to provide an evidence-based analysis of the area and adress the question to what extent Russian companies may sereve as a foreign policy tool. The project is to be published in 2017.
Project
The strip mining of brown coal, a key energy resource of the Czech energy industry, has been territorially restricted by a government decree issued in 1991. This decision has been contested ever since by mining companies steering an opposition of local communities and environmental activists. The project explores the conflict from three perspectives. First, we are interested in the overall structure of the inter-personal activist networks, individual participation as well as in the mechanisms of tie formation. Second, we map advocacy coalitions formed around the issue, focusing on their objectives, beliefs, and interactions. Third, we examine the corresponding media discourse by identifying dominant topics and by tracing how they evolve over time. In sum, we aim to uncover structural constraints and opportunities underpinning the region's trajectory of energy transition.
Project
Our main goal is to analyse how Member States of Central and Eastern Europe – and in particular the Visegrad group EU Member States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) – have been contributing to this process of “differentiated integration” of the EU. More precisely, we seek to analyse whether these four countries – both in terms of individuals and as a consistent group – have been contributing to the “diluting” of the integration process in terms of real behaviour in EU institutions (particularly in the Council of the EU and the European Council), developing and advocating competitive visions and scenarios of the EU and, in terms of their perception by other EU Member States, as promoters of “differentiated integration”. If specific dissent behaviour is identified, we will also ask why the studied states have been behaving in this way, and what their motivations have been.
Project
The goals of the project are to better understand acceptance of mining activities and to investigate the national and regional policy contexts of mining that influence this acceptance.

Featured research (61)

As the energy transition proceeds, local opposition against various energy developments is increasingly widespread. This paper explores the role of social networks for participation in opposition to coal mining in the Czech Republic. A case study of the opposition movement examines whether network connections and social influence channeled through cooperation networks increase the intensity of opposition. It uses a novel approach of autologistic actor attribute models to include both individual-based and network-based predictors. The number of an individual’s network connections was found to be the sole positive predictor. By contrast, the effects of social influence, individual sociodemographic predictors, and sociopsychological predictors were not present. This shows the critical importance of the underlying cooperation network, which increases both opportunities and incentives to cooperate. The results further suggest that the opposition movement network has multiple centers revolving around high-level participants. Such arrangement indicates a division of labor among the professional activists, radical grassroots activists, and residents, thus enabling the opposition to efficiently access various resources. It also shows that research on local opposition should consider not only individual attributes but also relational contexts which allow to adequately capture the opposition’s organization. Only with such understanding may more suitable and inclusive future policies be designed.
The Visegrad Group ranks among the most visible examples of regional cooperation in Europe. Within the Group’s agenda, cooperation on energy policy appears to be especially important and it is also a field in which the Platform is considered to perform especially well. This article provides an account of what ‘energy cooperation’ is according to the Platform itself. Specifically, it seeks to find out which energy policy issues are reflected by the Platform, how their reflection has evolved over time, and how they are framed (made sense of). To find out, all the official documents and communications issued by the V4 between 2000 and 2018, totalling approximately 660,000 words of text, were thoroughly examined using three separate analytical approaches. The results show that energy indeed features prominently in the V4 agenda with a focus on energy security – tacitly understood as security of (natural gas) supply – and pursuing common interests within the EU. The results also indicate that the energy cooperation is largely reactive, with the V4 much more likely to find common positions and agree on joint actions when facing external pressures. Especially since 2015, the cooperation has been chiefly defined by common resistance to the ambitious climate policies pursued by the EU. The article concludes by suggesting that Visegrad energy cooperation is likely overrated and that there is little evidence in the documents of the Platform that this agenda represents an ‘especially successful’ field of cooperation.
In contrast to the main streams of literature, which primarily analyse the Visegrad countries (Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) as an example of a regional coalition and their role in the EU, we focus on the internal coherence of the group and especially issues on which they vote differently as well as their voting affiliation with political groups within the European Parliament. Our research is methodologically based on the analysis of roll-call votes (RCV). We conclude that there is considerable heterogeneity evident in MEP voting behaviour and thus we can assume that the relative proximity among Visegrad countries' positions is not apparent in the European Parliament. Moreover, we have confirmed that hard Eurosceptic MEPs are not a homogenous group and in the EP seeking support for legislative approval is more difficult than may be expected.
Scientifically informed climate policymaking starts with the exchange of credible, salient, and legitimate scientific information between scientists and policymakers. It is therefore important to understand what explains the exchange of scientific information in national climate policymaking processes. This article applies exponential random graph models to network data from the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, and Portugal to investigate which types of organizations are favored sources of scientific information and whether actors obtain scientific information from those with similar beliefs as their own. Results show that scientific organizations are favored sources in all countries, while only in the Czech Republic do actors obtain scientific information from those with similar policy beliefs. These findings suggest that actors involved in climate policymaking mostly look to scientific organizations for information, but that in polarized contexts where there is a presence of influential denialists overcoming biased information exchange is a challenge.
This chapter aims to present an overview of the formative events in the Czech energy sector in relation to Russia and Russian companies, which have taken place over the past 25 years following the fall of the Iron Curtain. To provide the reader with a complex understanding of the situation, the overview will not be confined just to the presentation of important events and facts in the energy sector. Rather, attention will be paid to the way these key events were presented in the political and public discourse. The chapter further maps the presence of Russian companies in the Czech energy sector, and concludes by evaluating the presence of Russian capital in the sector and the way in which potential Russian influence on Czech energy policy and general security in the Czech Republic are perceived.

Lab head

Filip Černoch
Department
  • Department of International Relations and European Studies

Members (13)

Tomáš Vlček
  • Masaryk University
Martin Jirušek
  • Masaryk University
Petr Ocelík
  • Masaryk University
Břetislav Dančák
  • Masaryk University
Jan Osička
  • Masaryk University
Veronika Zapletalová
  • Masaryk University
Lukas Lehotsky
  • Masaryk University
Colin Kimbrell
  • Masaryk University