Markku Lehtonen

Markku Lehtonen
University Pompeu Fabra | UPF · Faculty of Humanities

PhD

About

84
Publications
28,458
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,977
Citations
Introduction
My current research focuses on techno-scientific promises, decision-making and public controversies in the nuclear energy sector; and sustainability in educational institutions. Recent research has included the role of indicators in policymaking; trust and mistrust in nuclear and environment sectors; and biofuel controversies. As an EU Marie Curie Fellow, in 2019-21, I conducted research on controversies and (mis)trust concerning nuclear-sector megaprojects in Finland, France, Spain, and the UK.
Additional affiliations
May 2015 - December 2018
ESSEC Business School
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Research project on the role of trust in participatory environmental planning and decision-making in high-trust and low-trust societies; case studies in Finland, Sweden, and the UK. Project conducted within the centre CONNECT.
November 2014 - present
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Research project on the role of economics and economists in nuclear policy and politics in Finland, France and the UK. Research financed by CNRS, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Francis Chateauraynaud.
June 2012 - May 2014
Institut Francilien Recherce Innovation Societé
Institut Francilien Recherce Innovation Societé
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
Technological innovation needs construction of promises and expectations to mobilise resources and supportive networks, yet exaggerated promises risk leading to disappointment and undermining this very support. Drawing on an analysis of secondary literature and press articles, the concepts of hype cycle and Regimes of Economics of Techno-scientific...
Article
Full-text available
After decades of preparation, the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel has reached the construction stage in Finland, and the neighboring Sweden is likely to soon follow in the footsteps. These Nordic countries rely on a similar technical concept based on passive safety, advocated as a means of minimizing the burden to future generations. The schol...
Book
Full-text available
With the aim of overcoming the disciplinary and national fragmentation that characterizes much research on nuclear energy, Engaging the Atom brings together specialists from a variety of fields to analyze comparative case studies across Europe and the United States. It explores evolving relationships between society and the nuclear sector from the...
Data
Introductory chapter of Kaijser, Lehtonen, Meyer & Rubio-Varas. 2021. "Engaging the Atom The History of Nuclear Energy and Society in Europe from the 1950s to the Present". West Virginia University Press.
Article
Full-text available
High levels of public trust in institutions and generalised interpersonal trust in “the unknown other” are generally seen to facilitate decision-making on nuclear energy and waste. However, earlier research has highlighted the potential virtues of mistrustful “civic vigilance” and politicisation as means of enhancing the robustness of policy decisi...
Article
Full-text available
The notion of social licence to operate (SLO) has become a widely applied concept for companies in mining and resource extraction industries to manage their social and community relations, in the face of local criticism and opposition. SLO literature and practice have highlighted earning the trust of the local community as a key requirement for an...
Article
Full-text available
The nuclear sector finds itself at a critical juncture, in part because recent large nuclear power plant projects in Europe and the United States have suffered from what some scholars have called megaproject “pathologies,” that is, the chronic failure of large, complex infrastructure projects to fulfill the “iron triangle” criteria of project perfo...
Article
Full-text available
Finnland ist dabei, als erstes Land der Welt sein Atommüll-Problem zu lösen. Das Endlager für abgebrannte Brennelemente mit der Bezeichnung „Onkalo“ soll gegen Mitte der 2020er Jahre den Betrieb aufnehmen. Man rechnet in Finnland also damit, den ewigen Rivalen Schweden hinter sich zu lassen, dessen identisch konzipiertes Endlagerprojekt noch die Zu...
Article
Full-text available
en Trust and confidence have been identified as crucial for efforts at solving the conundrum of high‐level radioactive waste management (RWM). However, mistrust has its virtues, especially in the form of “civic vigilance”—healthy suspicion towards the powers that be. This article examines civic vigilance in the form of “watchdog journalism,” as pra...
Article
Full-text available
Finland and Sweden are the countries with the most advanced plans for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Both countries have also been evoked as good examples in the use of a 'partnering' approach, designed to achieve both a licensable site supported by the community and a balance between fair representation and competent participation. Wh...
Article
Full-text available
The OECD international peer reviews represent a typical example of ‘harder soft governance’ at the international level. Lacking direct regulatory power, the Organisation exerts its influence via soft persuasion through peer pressure, entailing attention from the media, civil society, and other member country governments. Drawing on interviews and d...
Article
The final disposal of spent nuclear fuel has long stirred up societal debate and controversy in most countries utilizing nuclear energy. Various discourses contextualising the issue affect both the general public and policy-making. Both Finland and Sweden are considered forerunners in implementing final disposal. In this paper we explore similariti...
Article
Full-text available
High-level nuclear waste repository projects are unique megaprojects: they are to provide a local solution to a national/global problem, entail exceptional intergenerational justice considerations and multiple interests of the state. As such, repository projects exhibit particular trust and mistrust problems and dynamics. This paper examines in par...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of social licence to operate (SLO) is an increasingly popular tool for companies to manage their relations with the local communities. SLO is very seldom used in the nuclear sector, which has nevertheless applied similar approaches, under notions such as partnership and participatory governance. This article explores the specific challen...
Article
Full-text available
Community energy (CE) features as one amongst the many novel forms of grassroots innovation that seek to foster sustainability via citizen-led local-level initiatives. The burgeoning research on CE has thus far paid little attention to the role of trust in shaping the conditions of success of CE organisations. Moreover, to the extent that ecologica...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
(NOT MY OWN WORK BUT AS MEMBER OF SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE I AM SHARING THIS CALL FOR PAPERS!) Aim: The central aim of this workshop is to explore how insights from the social sciences and humanities can be used to inform the decision-making of practitioners in nuclear energy organizations. The workshop will be held at NEA Headquarters in Paris on Dece...
Chapter
Various types of community benefit schemes have been implemented in order to mitigate potential harmful effects and facilitate the construction of nuclear in-stallations, to compensate for real or potential damage (e.g. harmful distributive effects), and to incite communities to volunteer in planning and construction. This chapter draws on examples...
Chapter
Various types of community benefit schemes have been implemented in order to mitigate potential harmful effects and facilitate the construction of nuclear installations, to compensate for real or potential damage (e.g. harmful distributive effects), and to incite communities to volunteer in planning and construction. This chapter draws on examples...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological economics has paid little attention to the assessment and evaluation of megaprojects – large, complex infrastructure projects often delivered via public-private partnerships, which entail deep uncertainties, considerable economic and political stakes, and significant impacts on society. Megaprojects proliferate, despite their problematic...
Article
Full-text available
Trust is vital in participatory planning. To explore the complex relationships between participation and various dimensions of trust and mistrust, this article develops a framework of analysis distinguishing between specific and diffuse forms of institutional trust and mistrust, and illustrates its relevance via two case studies of urban and transp...
Article
Ce dossier présente au lecteur une sélection de cinq contributions originales d’analystes des indicateurs participatifs. Elles s’organisent toutes autour d’une série de promesses des indicateurs participatifs, sources de paradoxes et dilemmes. Ces contributions abordent différentes facettes de ces promesses, et les multiples couches analytiques per...
Book
The governance and evaluation of ‘megaprojects’; that is, large-scale, complex, high-stakes infrastructure projects usually commissioned by governments and delivered through partnerships between public and private organisations, is receiving increased attention. However, megaproject evaluation has hitherto largely adopted a linear-rationalist persp...
Article
Full-text available
In March 2014 a group of early career researchers and academics from São Paulo state and from the UK met at the University of Campinas to participate in a workshop on ‘ResponsibleInnovation and the Governance of Socially Controversial Technologies’. In this Perspective we describe key reflections and observations from the workshop discussions, payi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Today, indicators are produced and used worldwide; across all levels and sectors of society; by public, private and civil society actors; for a variety of purposes, ranging from knowledge-provision to administrative control. While the use of quantitative data as policy support, including policy formulation, has a long history, recent decades have s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Given France’s role as a nuclear energy “superpower”, with 58 nuclear reactors supplying 75% of the electricity consumed in the country, the current French plans for the creation of a deep geological disposal repository for intermediatelevel long-lived and high-level radioactive waste (ILW-LL and HLW) have been generating worldwide interest. The se...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the various roles that indicators, as boundary objects, can play as a science-based evidence for policy processes. It presents two case studies from the EU-funded POINT project that analyzed the use and influence of two highly different types of indicators: composite indicators of sustainable development at the EU level and en...
Article
Full-text available
A major virtue of the APRAISE 3E method lies in its ability to examine the degree to which a policy has reached its intended effects, and explain how policy performance depends on the interactions between selected environmental policies and policy instruments. In addition, APRAISE case studied revealed a number of unanticipated effects of policies...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation literature has paid relatively little attention to the specific needs of evaluating large, complex industrial and infrastructure projects, often called ‘megaprojects’. The abundant megaproject governance literature, in turn, has largely focused on the so-called ‘megaproject pathologies’, i.e. the chronic budget overruns, and failure of s...
Article
Full-text available
Improving the public understanding and acceptance of biofuels – those characterised as “advanced” or “next generation” in particular – is generally considered a key challenge of biofuel politics. A worthy objective as such, fostering consensus and enhancing public acceptance and acceptability is highly problematic as the sole objective for the prod...
Article
Full-text available
The existing approaches to megaproject evaluation have overwhelmingly concentrated on the " iron triangle " criteria of delivering projects on time, within budget, and to predefined project specifications, while the evaluation of the social aspects has received little attention. When " the social " is addressed, it is often done under the denominat...
Article
Full-text available
In March 2014 a group of early career researchers and academics from São Paulo state and from the UK met at the University of Campinas to participate in a workshop on ‘Responsible Innovation and the Governance of Socially Controversial Technologies’. In this Perspective we describe key reflections and observations from the workshop discussions, pay...
Chapter
International discussions on the sustainability of Brazilian ethanol biofuel and efforts to develop biofuel sustainability certification have, until recently, concentrated on the environmental effects – notably deforestation and the indirect land use impacts – of the expected expansion of sugarcane cultivation. The social impacts of large-scale sug...
Chapter
International discussions on the sustainability of Brazilian ethanol biofuel and efforts to develop biofuel sustainability certification have, until recently, concentrated on the environmental effects – notably deforestation and the indirect land use impacts – of the expected expansion of sugarcane cultivation. The social impacts of large-scale sug...
Article
While the environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability have received plenty of attention in biofuel policies and assessment, only recently has the social ‘pillar’ gained increasing weight, demonstrated e.g. by debates over the dilemmas such as food vs. fuel and large vs. small-scale biofuel production. This paper calls for greater attent...
Article
Full-text available
The possibilities of recovering radioactive waste deposited for final disposal (retrievability), and of reversing decisions concerning the management of the waste (reversibility) have emerged as central issues on the policymaking agenda in a number of countries. Calls for reversibility and retrievability (R&R) have emanated mainly from civil societ...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses the nature and role of recently established deliberative and participatory mechanisms of planning and decision-making on radioactive waste management in three countries that have recently committed to extending their nuclear capacity – Finland, France and the UK. The article introduces the micro and macro theories of deliberat...
Article
Full-text available
The possibilities of recovering radioactive waste deposited for final disposal (retrievability), and of reversing decisions concerning the management of the waste (reversibility) have emerged as central issues on the policymaking agenda in a number of countries. Calls for reversibility and retrievability (R&R) have emanated mainly from civil societ...
Article
Between 1989 and 2004, energy consumption for road freight in the UK is estimated to have increased by only 6.3%. Over the same period, UK GDP increased by 43.3%, implying that the aggregate energy intensity of UK road freight fell by 25.8%. During this period, therefore, the UK achieved relative but not absolute decoupling of road freight energy c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
progress in agricultural yields resulting from the introduction of agricultural chemicals has not come without cost for human health and the environment. While the pesticide requirements of sugarcane crop are relatively modest compared to other similar cash crops, agrochemicals continue to generate harmful impacts especially in the major sugarcane...
Article
As part of the recent ‘ideational turn’ in research on international organisations, the study of organisational discourse has gained popularity. Yet ecological economics has thus far paid little attention to the role of organisations as sites for the discursive battles over the meaning of sustainable development. For an international organisation w...
Article
Applying the techniques of decomposition analysis we estimate the relative contribution of ten variables (termed 'key ratios') plus GDP to the change in UK road freight energy use over the period 1989-2004 inclusive. The results are best interpreted as an estimate of the percentage growth in energy consumption that would have resulted from the chan...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving the ambitious targets for renewable electricity generation in Europe will require harnessing a diverse range of energy sources, many of which are decentralised, small scale, and will be connected directly to the distribution networks. To control the two-way flows of electricity, the current passive network configurations will need to be r...
Chapter
Around the world energy policy is becoming more politically heated. An interrelated set of factors explains this: new scientific findings about climate change and its likely consequences; rising energy prices; controversy about nuclear ambitions; fears about the security of fossil fuel supplies relating to short-term geopolitical instabilities; rap...
Chapter
Over 20 years ago UN Commission on Environment and Development called on governments around the world to make sustainable development their first priority. The ‘Brundtland Report’ provided a definition still regularly quoted in policy documents committing governments to the aim. Sustainable development is: [D]evelopment that meets the needs of the...
Chapter
Part I of Energy for the Future developed a critique of the way energy policymaking is conducted, drawing attention to issues such as problem framing, institutional inertia, civil legitimacy, technological ‘lock-in’ and over-reliance on competition as a mechanism to achieve energy policy goals. Part II focuses on ways to tackle the challenges so th...
Article
The OECD sustainable development indicators are being used in the various OECD peer reviews so as to ‘mainstream’ sustainable development. This article examines the ways in which the sustainable development indicators in the OECD economic surveys and environmental performance reviews (EPRs) have been used, and the types of learning they have engend...
Article
Full-text available
Markets and the Environment, By KeohaneNathaniel O. and OlmsteadSheila M., xi + 274 pp., 22 × 14 × 1.5 cm, ISBN 978 1 59726 047 3 paperback, US$ 19.95, Washington, DC, USA: Island Press, 2007 - Volume 35 Issue 1 - MARKKU LEHTONEN
Article
As a contribution to the definition of environmental science, this article describes an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach for studying environmental problems. It can be used both in research and in education. Problem orientation can be expressed in three questions: a) Why are there environmental problems? b) What are their characteristic...
Article
Full-text available
Impacts of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) environmental and economic country reviews are compared in light of their capacity to enhance environmental policy integration (EPI). Employing a policy-making network perspective, genuine EPI is presumed to require complex learning – ‘paradigmatic change’. Impacts of reviews...
Article
Full-text available
Arguably the world's most ambitious transport biofuel programme so far, the Brazilian alcohol fuel programme, launched in 1975, has recently gathered speed and attracted renewed interest as a result of rising concerns for climate change and energy security. This paper traces the trajectory of the use of alcohol fuel from a small niche market to an...
Article
Full-text available
Deliberative democracy has attracted increasing attention in political science and has been suggested as a normative ideal for evaluation. This article analyzes to what extent evaluations carried out in a highly government-driven manner can nevertheless contribute to deliberative democracy. This potential is examined by taking the Organisation for...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the ways in which the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in general, and through its benchmarking exercises in particular, can contribute to policy convergence in its member countries through mechanisms of harmonisation, imposition and diffusion. As an organisation without direct regulatory power, the...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis examines what consequences, through which pathways, and under which circumstances, does country-level environmental policy evaluation, carried out by an intergovernmental organisation, have for institutional change towards sustainable development. The philosophical and theoretical frameworks of institutional economics are proposed as th...
Chapter
The three papers in Part I raise the major issues involved in evaluating agri-environmental policies, from both a government and academic perspective, and from a theoretical and practical application. The following comments are based on my experience from participating in the OECD Environmental Performance Reviews, both as a review team member and...
Article
Full-text available
The growing interest in evaluation as a new form of environmental governance stems from two developments: the movement towards New Public Management, and the search for new policy instruments for managing complexity, uncertainty and plurality of values in the pursuit of sustainable development. The former holds increasing accountability as the main...
Article
The social dimension has commonly been recognised as the weakest ‘pillar’ of sustainable development, notably when it comes to its analytical and theoretical underpinnings. While increasing attention has lately been paid to social sustainability, the interaction between the ‘environmental’ and the ‘social’ still remains a largely uncharted terrain....
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, the volume of road freight transport has been expected to follow the growth of GDP and any policy aimed at curbing freight demand has been thought deleterious to economic development. However, recent studies indicate a 'relative decoupling' in some European countries, including the UK. These figures may be misleading, since they fai...
Article
Full-text available
The peer reviews carried out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on its member countries' energy policies at four-year intervals, represent one of the most established examples of 'soft' methods of governance, which have recently gained popularity especially in the EU. Lacking regulatory authority, the IEA's policy impact relies on 'peer press...
Article
This paper presents an adaptation of the conceptual framework developed for an EU FP7-funded project on the policy influence of indicators for the environment and sustainable development. It does this by drawing on various strands of literature on the use of expert knowledge (e.g. assessments, evaluations, scenarios, indicators) and applying the fr...
Article
The rapidly evolving policy debates around transpor t biofuels and their sustainability pose serious challenges to the appraisal of differe nt biofuel options. This article highlights those challenges by focusing on the role of the context in general and issue framing in particular in shaping the influence of a ppraisals. Three interrelated aspects...
Article
Arguably the world's most ambitious transport biofuel programme so far, launched in Brazil in 1975, has recently gathered speed and attracted renewed interest as a result of rising concerns for climate change and energy security. The introduction of sugarcane-based bioethanol as transport fuel transformed, but at the same time enabled the survival...
Article
Full-text available
Nuclear power is undergoing a revival in a number of countries of both developed and developing world, and is increasingly presented as a solution to the problems of climate change and energy security. This paper analyses the history of and the debates on nuclear power in France, the UK and Finland, all of which are in the process of either plannin...

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
By exploring the evolution of techno-scientific promises and expert communities in the nuclear sector, over time and across countries, the project generates knowledge about the role of such factors in fostering and hindering sustainability transitions. The evolution of nuclear-sector promises and “epistemic communities” are studied in Finland, Canada, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The focus is on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with the older fusion, fast breeder, and nuclear waste disposal promises as complementary cases. The nuclear-sector analysis is placed within a broader context of energy scenarios and visions of the future, including those of a hydrogen economy and 100%-renewable energy systems. Using methodologies of science and technology studies (STS) and pragmatic sociology, including IT-assisted methods of qualitative analysis, the project draws on documentary material (press articles, reports, scholarly articles), expert and stakeholder interviews, and archives. https://www.upf.edu/web/promises/
Project
The project “Acquiring SOcial LIcense for Disposal: trust and acceptance (SOLID)” focuses on trust and trust building as essential parts of achieving social license for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste. The main objective is to provide further insight into the multidimensional and layered question of trust in final disposal of SNF in Finland. The project is funded by Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT2022), http://kyt2022.vtt.fi/