Project

Energy Politics, Policy and Governance

Goal: 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

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Project log

Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
The European Commission has announced far-reaching reforms to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Among the proposals constituting the European Green Deal is the adoption of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to prevent carbon leakage. In practice, however, CBAM will not only act as a shield for the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) but also incentivize other countries to implement compatible carbon pricing schemes. We argue that the EU's CBAM thus de facto has the features of a climate club, but the current proposals and debate do not address how the club would be governed. While the literature focuses on legal and economic aspects of CBAM design, there is little debate about the governance challenges it entails. We identify two major challenges. CBAM will put pressure on trade partners to introduce carbon pricing and/or bring it into line with the price of EU ETS allowances. However, the future availability and thus price of ETS allowances is determined within the EU. Secondly, the method for calculating embedded carbon is left to the discretion of the European Commission. EU policymakers need to acknowledge the challenges that follow from setting up a de facto climate club, and that addressing them involves a trade-off between maintaining control over the direction and ambition of climate policy and CBAM's legitimacy.
Marco Siddi
added a research item
The EU’s introduction of the European Green Deal and adoption of a far-reaching decarbonisation agenda in 2019-2021 cast serious doubts on the future of EU-Russia trade in fossil fuels. Russia’s recent military attack against Ukraine and the subsequent Western reaction have accelerated the EU’s attempts to disentangle itself from dependence on Russian energy supplies. The Union’s ongoing confrontation with Russia currently makes prospects for a ‘greener’ type of energy cooperation implausible. At the same time, Russia remains the fifth largest CO2 emitter (after China, the US, the EU and India) and a central actor in terms of ‘green’ resources - i.e. forests, critical minerals for the energy transition; hence its involvement in efforts to fight climate change will be important to attain global climate goals. This chapter assesses the implications of the European Green Deal and recent EU plans to reduce imports from Russia for the EU-Russia energy relationship. Subsequently, it examines potential options for interaction in the energy transition, which could help pursue the global climate agenda when the political situation will allow for it.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
The digitalisation of the energy system brings out the question of cyber threats. How this area is perceived and how cyber-security policy in the energy sector develops is driven by the most spectacular cyber-incidents. How do these events shape public perceptions about the dangers of digitalisation? To understand this, we look at the 2016 CrashOverride cyberattack on Ukraine's grid. Hypothesising that cyber-energy security incidents are interpreted in the context of socio-technical imaginaries of the energy sector and security imaginaries linked to foreign policy, we distil four discourses that emerged around the Ukraine attack among Western experts and commentators. One represented it as evidence of an accelerating race towards disaster, another as merely a tip of the iceberg. The third portrayed it as less catastrophic than initially suggested, while the last one as part of Russia's cyber strategy. Not all of these were picked up by the broader public debate in Western security circles, and only the more alarmist discourses had a visible impact beyond niche communities. ARTICLE HISTORY
Marco Siddi
added a research item
A transition to net-zero carbon energy systems, imperative to combat climate change, is unfolding around the world. Other socio-technical systems also face the need to transition to become more environmentally and socially sustainable. We argue that such transitions will have both positive and negative security implications on numerous issues which deserve attention but have been little addressed in transition studies. We take a socio-technical lens and propose that these security implications can be ex-ante analysed via three elements of socio-technical systems: technology, actors, and institutions. We provide an illustration of such analysis in the energy transition context and use this to create a categorisation framework for expectations analysis. Regarding the technology dimension, expectations concerning, e.g., resource and technology dependencies, risk for technical system disruptions, and effects on interconnected systems can be analysed as relevant security issues. For the actor dimension, issues such as geopolitical uncertainties, regional (in)stability, internal tensions, and diffusion of power are identified. For institutions, e.g., influence on democratic institutions, peace building and structural violence can be assessed. We argue there is a need for improved and forward-looking policy coordination across domains and for academic studies that utilise foresight approaches to assess different security expectations more concretely.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
This paper asks what policy tools the European Commission used to push member states to align their national post-pandemic recovery preferences with its own preferences for the green (and digital) recovery. It claims that the Commission did not create new policy tool in response to the crisis, but utilised an existing one, previously successfully tested in climate and energy policy. This tool, ex ante governance, developed under the 2018 Governance Regulation, enabled the Commission to influence member states' national goals (defined in their National Energy and Climate Plans) before they were formally adopted. The Commission's main aim was to link the national targets with the 2030 climate and energy goals binding at the EU level. Ex ante governance helped the Commission achieve this linkage as it pushed member countries to commit to more ambitious national targets than they had originally intended. This enabled the EU27 to reach a commitment level that will support the 2030 climate and energy goals set at the EU level. This modus operandi contrasts with the previous ex post assessment process that was ineffective; the original rules on the Intergovernmental Agreements have revealed the limitations of this approach. Due to its success the Commission applied the ex ante governance model to the post-pandemic recovery, where it wanted to align member states' national preferences (presented in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans) with its green (and other) recovery objectives. Such a development indicates the emergence of a complex ex ante governance within the EU.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
The Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) is a visible actor at the EU level in several areas including energy security. This chapter argues that the unity the group sometimes presents is the result of ad hoc policy convergence among members, and not the consequence of cooperation within the group. Indeed, as the chapter argues, the Visegrad Group lacks internal structures and is unable to forge compromises or provide a platform for discussion. This contrast is explained using the example of energy security and decarbonization – two closely related issues on which the Visegrad Group members have divergent preferences. While all four countries have similar preferences when it comes to energy security and have utilized the Visegrad Group to push for these at the EU level, their preferences on decarbonization are not always aligned. The chapter provides detailed insights into the main issues connected to decarbonization and examines the similarities and differences between the Visegrad Group countries in this policy area.
Petr Ocelík
added a research item
Responses to current environmental challenges, such as the energy transition, require collaboration among diverse actors interacting in complex and conflicting policy settings. This study examines the drivers of inter-organizational collaboration within the conflictual context of Czech coal phase-out by investigating hypotheses on belief homophily, political influence, and expert information. It uses a sequential mixed-methods research design combining exponential random graph modeling, which controls for network self-organization processes, and directed qualitative content analysis, which validates and extends the findings from the previous stage. The results show that organizations perceived as influential and organizations providing expertise are more likely to be involved in inter-organizational collaboration. Belief homophily does not predict collaboration but is relevant for disincentivizing collaboration among actors with low-compatible beliefs, thus contributing to conflict reproduction. The study concludes that future collaborative arrangements need to avoid such design flaws as those of the recently established Coal Committee, which reinforced existing power asymmetries and conflicts.
Benjamin Hofmann
added a research item
This chapter explores the political influence of Switzerland as a non-EU country in European electricity governance. We argue that the influence of non-EU countries depends on their access to European governance institutions and their structural power resources. We further posit that the type of structural power resources circumscribes the specific areas of influence. The empirical analysis assesses these variables qualitatively based on interview and other primary data. First, it shows that Switzerland has relatively high access to important European governance bodies. Second, it reveals that Switzerland possesses structural power in serving as a European transit hub for electricity and an important source of technical expertise. Third, it confirms our theoretical expectation that Switzerland acts as a shaper in European electricity governance. Swiss influence is especially seen in matters related to grid management and cross-border electricity trade. Limitations to Swiss influence are often rooted in the legal principles of the EU internal market. Our findings qualify claims about a marginalization of Switzerland in European electricity governance. At the same time, we highlight uncertainties resulting from the present lack of an electricity agreement between Switzerland and the EU. Our chapter recommends Swiss policy-makers to strive for viable forms of energy cooperation with the EU and to strengthen the transit function and technical expertise of the country.
Farid Karimi
added a research item
This book analyses the potential for active stakeholder engagement in the energy transition in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) in order to foster clean energy deployment. Public acceptability and bottom-up activities can be critical for enduring outcomes to an energy transition. As a result, it is vital to understand how to unlock the potential for public, community and prosumer participation to facilitate renewable energy deployment and a clean energy transition – and, consequently, to examine the factors influencing social acceptability. Focussing on the diverse BSR, this book draws on expert contributions to consider a range of different topics, including the challenges of social acceptance and its policy implications; strategies to address challenges of acceptability among stakeholders; and community engagement in clean energy production. Overall, the authors examine the practical implications of current policy measures and provide recommendations on how lessons learnt from this ‘energy lab region’ may be applied to other regions. Reflecting an interdisciplinary approach in the social sciences, this book is an essential resource for scholars, students and policymakers researching and working in the areas of renewable energy, energy policy and citizen engagement, and interested in understanding the potential for bottom-up, grassroots activities and social acceptability to expedite the energy transition and reanimate democracies.
Marco Siddi
added a research item
The European Green Deal (EGD) has been described as a transformation strategy for the European continent, but its success also depends on cooperation at global level. Therefore, the EU intends to engage other actors and show international leadership on the climate agenda and the energy transition. This paper analyses the external dimension of the EGD, with a focus on global partnerships and EU leadership. Specifically, it examines EU relations with (re)emerging economies, in particular China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. Based on information acquired through cooperation with local research institutions, the paper examines prospects for partnership between the EU and these countries in the implementation of the EGD goals. We argue that great potential exists for green cooperation between the EU and re(emerging) economies. However, diplomatic conflict may occur if the EU attempts to shift the costs of the energy transition on partner countries.
Csaba Weiner
added a research item
South-Eastern European (SEE) countries are typically keen to maintain the status quo in their energy systems, generally characterized by underinvestment, high coal share and utility affordability needs. Their energy mixes have historically been determined by external factors, currently mainly related to decarbonization pressure. This article assesses how the EU’s ongoing decarbonization-driven withdrawal from supporting natural gas projects shapes fuel choices in nine selected SEE countries and may have geopolitical consequences. It is based on more than 70 interviews with stakeholders from these countries, EU institutions, and international organizations. In exploring and theorizing the geopolitical ramifications of the energy transition in SEE, it applies a novel approach, which draws on theories of power and the concept of an assemblage, which we link to theories on entanglement and disentanglement. We find that the EU’s climate policy significantly changes local infrastructural assemblages and the EU’s disentanglement from natural gas goes against Russian and US efforts. By wielding its power to support such an energy transition, the EU has shifted the bipolar system ‘EU/US vis-à-vis Russia’ defined along a single geopolitical ruleset (supply security), to a tripolar disposition ‘EU-Russia-USA’ defined along two rulesets (supply security and climate policy). In addition, China has become involved. States will thus have to take crucial energy policy decisions in a new geopolitical context.
Martin Jirušek
added an update
Might be of interest to you: The 1/2022 issue of the Czech Journal of Political Science is out now with a section dedicated to the EU´s (external) energy security. More details and articles are available on our website: https://www.politologickycasopis.cz/en/
 
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the risk of a prolonged physical supply shortage of natural gas is higher than ever before. While European Union (EU) institutions and member states are discussing the possibility of imposing an embargo or a gradual phase-out in this sector, an abrupt shortage may result from a political decision on the supplier’s side. This event would be beyond EU control and requires appropriate contingency plans. However, the EU does not have adequate procedures for managing long-term supply interruptions. High gas prices alone will not be able to deliver the necessary level of savings, and they will also create an unfair distribution of reserves. EU’s preparedness and resilience rest on its ability to adjust gas demand quickly, efficiently, and in a fair manner. With gas rationing as the measure of last resort, we propose to develop non-price-based mechanisms, as well as coordinated and voluntary efforts for gas-saving on a European level.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
The spike in energy prices and feared natural gas supplies shortage during the winter of 2021/2022 indicate a limited ability of existing energy measures to deliver energy security for the European Union. Moreover, the lack of a common external energy security policy made it difficult for the EU to assume a common energy position towards Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. While the pace of decarbonisation needs to increase for the EU to achieve its 2050 goals, the Union must support its member states' energy security (including its external dimension) during the transition period, until it will be provided by domestic low-carbon energy sources.
Petr Ocelík
added 2 research items
Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus on the existence and serious impacts of anthropogenic climate change, diverse societal actors strive to undermine both its scientific basis and derived policy responses. Mass media constitute a key discursive space where such actors attempt to influence public understanding and thereby particular policy (non)responses. This research focuses on media communication strategies of climate sceptics in the Czech Republic. It uses discourse network analysis to examine a corpus compiled from four major national newspapers between 2009 and 2018. The results show a crucial role for former President Klaus, who was the most represented actor on the issue. Sceptics mostly resorted to a counter-framing strategy based on questioning the integrity and motivations of climate scientists and climate protection supporters. This research provides supportive evidence that the Anglo-American model of climate scepticism has been successfully adopted in the context of post-communist Europe.
The extent to which a policy actor is perceived as being influential by others can shape their role in a policy process. The interest group literature has examined how the use of advocacy tactics, such as lobbying or media campaigns, contributes to an actor’s perceived influence. The policy networks literature, in turn, has found that network ties and occupying certain institutional roles can explain why actors are perceived as influential. When investigating what explains perceptions of influence, interest groups scholars have not accounted for network interdependencies and network scholars have so far not examined the advocacy tactics used by interest groups. This paper addresses the gap at the intersection of these two literatures by investigating the relationship between network ties, institutional roles, advocacy tactics and the presence of influence attribution ties in climate change policy networks. Exponential random graph models are applied to network data collected from the organisations participating in the national climate change policymaking processes in six EU countries that vary by the extent to which they are majoritarian or consensual democracies: Czechia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, and Sweden. The results show that network ties and institutional roles are better predictors of influence attribution ties than advocacy tactics and that there is no pattern in the relationship between advocacy tactics and influence attribution ties across different institutional contexts. These findings suggest that because influence is primarily associated with structural factors (network ties and institutional roles) that more established policy actors are likely to have more influence, which may inhibit the need for a significant step change in climate policies.
Matúš Mišík
added an update
We are offering one six-month fellowship for a displaced Ukrainian PhD student within project EU Green Recovery in the post-Covid-19 Period (GreenRec). The candidate should work on issues connected to energy policy, ideally linked to decarbonisation and the EU. We are offering a scholarship (that covers living expenses in Bratislava), free accommodation (courtesy of the Comenius University) and health insurance (provided by the Slovak government). Please share and do not hesitate to contact us (via message or contact in the link). https://fphil.uniba.sk/greenrec
 
Kai Schulze
added a research item
Climate politics and governance across the globe involve an increasing number of interest groups such as from business and civil society. Against this backdrop, it matters a great deal whether interest group mobilization is able to influence climate policy-making. First, there is an increasing number of climate policy supporters like nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and green businesses lobbying in favour of additional climate policies. Second, there is also strong mobilization of groups from energy-intensive and fossil fuel industries lobbying against potentially costly climate policies. In this paper, we investigate the potential effects of these mobilization patterns. More precisely, we ask whether there is any systematic effect of competing interest group mobilization on national climate policy production. To this end, we harness arguments from literatures on interest group mobilization and climate policy-making. Empirically, we exploit a comprehensive global dataset on the adoption of national climate laws and interest group mobilization (over 4,000 organizations) between 1997 and 2016. The results show that the increasing mobilization of climate policy supporters is positively related to national climate policy production. Climate policy opponents are able to weaken this effect, but are hardly able to block new climate laws. The results add to our understanding of climate politics focusing on the role of business organizations and NGOs. This is highly policy relevant for both analysts and practitioners given that the Paris Agreement relies heavily on national policy efforts.Key policy insights The growing mobilization of climate policy supporters is positively related to the adoption of additional climate laws.The positive effect of climate policy supporters is weakened but rarely blocked by climate policy opponents, such as those from the fossil fuel industry.The effect of lobbying over climate policy needs to be assessed in its competitive context, that is by considering how political support and opposition on climate policy interact.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
This article enriches the existing literature on the importance and role of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in renewable energy sources research by providing a novel approach to instigating the future research agenda in this field. Employing a series of in-depth interviews, deliberative focus group workshops and a sys- tematic horizon scanning process, which utilised the expert knowledge of 85 researchers from the field with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and expertise, the paper develops a set of 100 priority questions for future research within SSH scholarship on renewable energy sources. These questions were aggregated into four main directions: (i) deep transformations and connections to the broader economic system (i.e. radical ways of (re) arranging socio-technical, political and economic relations), (ii) cultural and geographical diversity (i.e. contextual cultural, historical, political and socio-economic factors influencing citizen support for energy tran- sitions), (iii) complexifying energy governance (i.e. understanding energy systems from a systems dynamics perspective) and (iv) shifting from instrumental acceptance to value-based objectives (i.e. public support for energy transitions as a normative notion linked to trust-building and citizen engagement). While this agenda is not intended to be—and cannot be—exhaustive or exclusive, we argue that it advances the understanding of SSH research on renewable energy sources and may have important value in the prioritisation of SSH themes needed to enrich dialogues between policymakers, funding institutions and researchers. SSH scholarship should not be treated as instrumental to other research on renewable energy but as intrinsic and of the same hierarchical importance.
Csaba Weiner
added a research item
In Hungary, regulated energy prices fell by a quarter in 2013–2014 due to a state intervention. The objective of this article is to measure the effects of this change on the Hungarian residential energy consumption and assess the rationale, the policy context and other consequences of such an intervention. We decompose residential energy-use change in 2010–2018. We calculate 13.2 PJ of excess consumption relating to the programme, and find that the higher income deciles benefited the most from the lower prices compared to low-income households using market-priced lower-quality fuels and living in inefficient homes. The intervention lacked a strong policy background. The energy policy documents were later adjusted to the situation and finally the programme was linked to energy poverty. We point to price-setting failures and discrepancies between energy-efficiency goals and measures as well as negative effects of these and the programme itself. In the future, the policy emphasis should be on energy efficiency and supporting those really in need.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
Decentralization of the electricity sector has mainly been studied in relation to its infrastructural aspect, particularly location and size of the generation units, and only recently more attention has been paid to the governance aspects. This article examines power sector (de)centralization operationalized along three functional dimensions: political, administrative and economic. We apply this framework to empirically assess the changes in California's electricity market, which saw the emergence of institutional innovation in the form of community choice aggregation (CCA). Unpacking the Californian case illustrates how decision-making has moved from central state government and regulators to the municipal level in uneven ways and without decentralized generation keeping pace. We also explore the impacts this multidimensional and diversified decentralization has on the ultimate goals of energy transition: decarbonization and energy security. Our framework and empirical findings challenge the conventional view on decentralization and problematize the widespread assumptions of its positive influence on climate mitigation and grid stability.
Philipp Thaler
added a research item
The article explores energy policy tradeoffs faced by states that expand renewable electricity production and are part of cross-border electricity systems. We develop the concept of an impossible energy trinity (IET), which posits that many states cannot simultaneously achieve energy security, sustainability, and sovereignty. We argue that these states have three options to cope with the challenge of intermittent electricity production from domestic renewables. The dirty option resorts to base or reserve electric generating capacity from non-sustainable sources. The insecure option accepts system stability risks and/or higher electricity prices. The non-autonomous option cedes control over domestic energy rules to pursue integration with neighboring electricity grids and markets. We empirically illustrate our novel concept using the case of Switzerland, which finds itself at the crossroads of the three options. The country has to choose whether to add conventional generation capacities, accept grid instabilities and higher electricity prices, or integrate with the EU electricity market and rules. We discuss generalizations to other countries and ways to manage the IET. We conclude that public pressure for decarbonization and economic pressure to maintain secure energy supply render the non-autonomous option most likely in many states. The operation and governance of transboundary grid structure thereby influence energy transitions on national and subnational scales.
Marco Siddi
added a research item
Fighting climate change makes a green energy transition imperative. The transition will have significant geopolitical consequences, notably a shift of power away from fossil fuel producers that do not adapt to a decarbonizing world. Access to critical minerals, rare earth elements and storage technology for renewable energy applications will be essential, and will determine the new geopolitics of energy. Some critical elements such as cobalt are only found in a few areas of the globe. • Hydrogen is a carbon-free energy carrier that will allow the storage and dispatch of energy produced by intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind. While hydrogen trade could lead to new dependencies, it will provide a backup for the electricity system and strengthen energy security. • Currently, China is a leader in securing resources for the energy transition. The Belt and Road Initiative could consolidate its position. • As it strives to be a leader in the energy transition, the EU is focusing on securing relevant supply chains, deploying technology and developing hydrogen capacity. • International cooperation will accelerate the transition and give the world a chance to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Kacper Szulecki
added an update
Interested in joining the energy program at #ECPR General Conference 2020 in Innsbruck? Send us your panel proposal and shape the agenda yourself! More in the call: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SFAqYKSed_UFEjUETfQmWvwGTe1mv58i4Q_ZNfxdfWY/edit?fbclid=IwAR04VlQZRNZIwD1hMQk5HouJk9j9V4UXIsLBLpIr9iii7ECHflTEGKRKBi0
 
Aron Buzogany
added a research item
This chapter highlights the emergence, varieties and effects of environmental populism. It first shows that different types of populism have specific discourses of the environmental concerning worldviews, policies, or the role of science. Then explanations put forward to understand environmental populism are discussed, focusing on the materialist, idealist and strategic accounts. We also look at existing evidence concerning the policy effects of populists on environmental and climate policies. The concluding part identifies research gaps and open questions for further research.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
The oil and gas (O&G) sector is a major source of Norway’s national wealth and a pillar of its robust welfare state. At the same time, it makes a significant contribution to the global climate crisis. The oil and gas industry makes up 28% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, the second-highest source after transport, and this is only counting emissions from production on Norwegian territory, not life-cycle emissions. As the recent Production Gap Report 2021 attests, there is growing incompatibility between the global emissions reductions targets capable of stabilising dangerous climate change and the extraction of fossil fuels. In this context, the Norwegian political and business debate is visibly changing. Norway’s 2021 general election campaign, hailed as the first “climate vote” in Europe, galvanised the public by making climate pledges and the future of oil and gas key topics for discussion, and forcing all political parties and interest groups to take a stance. However, it is questionable whether the main goal should be to manage the decline of oil and gas or climate-related economic risks. If the future beyond 2050 is going to be net-zero, then relying on the fossil fuel sector as a pillar of Norway’s economy and society is unsustainable in the long run and carries significant risks that Norwegian decision makers need to mitigate.
Marco Siddi
added a research item
This article analyses European Union (EU) negotiations on the European Climate Law and the 2030 Climate Target Plan in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Adopting Ansell and Trondal's (2018) conceptualisation of turbulence, it argues that the pandemic intensified the environmental turbulence within which European policy makers had been operating following Brexit, the rule of law dispute with Poland and Hungary, and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Organisational turbulence within EU institutions also affected the negotiations, particularly due to the reliance of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the political support of East-Central European governments that are sceptical of ambitious climate action. Moreover, the Commission, the European Council and the Parliament have taken different positions on the 2030 climate target and on the governance to pursue subsequent targets. Turbulence of scale-reflecting the nature of the EU as a multi-level actor-became relevant too, as the EU found it difficult to agree on its 2030 climate target due to disputes between member states and European institutions. European decision makers responded to turbulence through major policy initiatives, such as the EU Recovery Plan, the Green Deal agenda, and making funds conditional to the respect of the rule of law. They also pursued intra-EU compromises that accommodated different positions-for instance, on the Climate Law. Nonetheless, turbulence continues to pose a formidable challenge to the progress of the EU's climate agenda.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
Highlights •This paper comments on Krzykowski and Zięty (2021) article. •It critically evaluates their arguments and approaches. •The paper discusses challenges connected to review process. •It scrutinizes quality control mechanism in interdisciplinary research.
Adrian Rinscheid
added a research item
Discourse analysis is gaining attention in transition studies. This paper uses discourse network analysis (DNA) to study how discourse coalitions, and the storylines they mobilize, change over time. Drawing from archival data of two daily newspapers, we analyze the struggle over coal phase-out in Germany (2000–2020). We identify an anti-coal discourse coalition, which was stable and ideationally congruent over time. It used climate change as the dominant storyline to delegitimize coal. The phase-out policy decision in 2020 can be interpreted as the success of this coalition. The pro-coal coalition, in contrast, was more dispersed and less consistent in their arguments. Nonetheless, it was able to institutionalize some of their key storylines in the final policies. We argue that DNA is a powerful tool we can mobilize in sustainability transitions research for the study of politics and beyond.
Kai Schulze
added a research item
To achieve its ambitious climate targets, the European Union (EU) must adopt new policies, increase the impact of existing policies and/or remove dysfunctional ones. The EU has developed an elaborate system to monitor national policy mixes in order to support these challenging requirements. Data that member states have reported to the EU over the last ten years reveal that the average expected per-policy-instrument emission reduction has declined, while national policy mixes have remained generally stable over time. This is strikingly discordant with the EU's ambitious commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050 ('net zero').
Aron Buzogany
added a research item
Energy infrastructure conflicts often reflect fundamental disagreements which cannot be resolved by merely designing better governance processes. They pose complex systemic questions related to justice and do so often with a global reach. This article discusses how social movements using civil disobedience challenge democratic procedures related to energy transitions. We concentrate on justifications of civil disobedience through a case study of Ende Gelände – a climate justice alliance operating mainly in Germany – and its contestation of coal mining. The results reflect the tension between the right to resistance, the demands of liberal democracy and other aspects of democratic legitimation.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
Renewable sources of energy are considered to play a crucial role in the transition towards a decarbonised economy. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries’ positions vis-à-vis the European Union’s (EU) renewables goals do not form a homogenous group and have changed over time. After joining the Union, these countries initially supported the EU’s renewables targets due to post-accession compliance; however, once this accession legacy faded away, they started to pursue their preferences in a more assertive way, which resulted in different strategies and priorities. The development of CEE countries’ positions towards renewables targets is thus connected to the ‘emancipation’ of these countries and a more assertive way of pursuing their preferences at the EU level, once they were ‘freed’ from the influence of post-accession conditionality.
Inga Margrete Ydersbond
added a research item
The study investigates why Norway and Sweden from 1960 until 2015 have developed their renewable energy production along very different paths. The results show that the natural resource potential, politics and public policies have had profound impacts on which type of renewable energy production have been developed, when and how. Sweden, lacking access to new cheap hydropower after 1970, has generally implemented more ambitious and comprehensive policies, leading to much higher production of new renewable energy of all types than in Norway. Differences in expansion of renewable energy might thus be explained by differences in: natural resource endowments, long-term research and innovation efforts, combined with creation of markets and predictable policies. Enhanced new renewables production has boosted energy security and stabilized the energy systems in both countries. The Swedish-Norwegian green electric certificate market, until 2015, mainly contributed to increased electricity production from already cost-competitive or nearly cost-competitive technologies: small-scale hydropower in Norway and bio power and wind power in Sweden.
Farid Karimi
added an update
Research Associate (Postdoc) position in energy law or energy politics
Interdisciplinary Centre for Baltic Sea Region Research (IFZO) at the University of Greifswald, Germany, seeks for two-year postdoc researcher. The position is part of the project ‘The Energy Transition in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR): Perceptions, Acceptance, Opportunities’. The position focuses on legal and political conflicts around Nordstream 2 pipeline in the context of energy politics, international law and energy security concerning the Baltic Sea region countries, the European Union, the US and Russia.
The potential topics include (but not limited to):
· The energy relations between the countries of the Baltic Sea region, the European Union, the US and Russia
· The importance of gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals for the energy transition in BSR, in particular, the role of the BSR as a ‘hydrogen hub’ and the importance of renewable energy import
· Risk and threat perception of actors vis-à-vis Nord Stream 2 project
Job requirements:
· A doctoral degree, preferably in the fields of law, political science or social sciences
· Knowledge of law, especially European law, is an advantage
· Ability to work on interdisciplinary projects
· Research experience in the field of international energy relations or energy politics or energy policy
· Knowledge of mixed methods (or at least comparative law and/or qualitative methods, e.g., discourse analysis)
· Proficiency in English is a must; knowledge of any BSR countries language would be a great advantage
We offer:
· Diverse, inclusive, interdisciplinary work environment
· Competitive salary based on experience
· Opportunities for international mobility
· Extensive international network
Deadline:
5.08.2021
Application (all in one pdf document):
· CV (including a list of publication)
· A motivation letter
· A research proposal (max. 1.5 pages)
· Copies of two scientific articles
Please submit your applications to: michael.rodi[at]uni-greifswald.de with cc to farid.karimi[at]novia.fi
 
Kacper Szulecki
added an update
Finally, we have our own Research Network in the ECPR family - if your institution s an ECPR member, you can join this community for free. The Energy-PPG network will host sections and panels at ECPR events, and intends to organize its own workshops and conferences in the future
 
Kai Schulze
added a research item
Domestic policies are the cornerstone of the new global climate governance architecture. However, what motivates vote-seeking politicians to pursue climate policies remains remarkably unclear, as the climate politics literature suggests that climate policies are usually not perceived as a vote winner. The present article revisits this issue and argues that a better understanding of the relationship between electoral competition and climate policy making requires taking into account differences both in party ideologies and in policy characteristics. Studying twenty-nine democracies between 1990 and 2016, the analysis finds that climate policy production overall tends to increase as the election approaches due to increases in “soft” policies, such as subsidies, research grants, and information instruments, and relatively stable production rates of “hard” policies like taxes and regulations over the electoral term. Regarding partisan politics, left governments are found to produce more hard, but not more soft, climate policies than center and right governments, especially before elections. This suggests that partisan and electoral incentives are important reference points in the fight against climate change.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
Despite the burgeoning literature, evidence on how right-wing populists frame and act on energy and climate issues is limited and even more scarce for other types of populist parties. We address this gap by exploring the policy discourses, positions and actions of six European populist parties from Austria, Czechia, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain belonging to different types of populism. We argue that there is substantial and largely neglected variation among different populist parties in their approach to and effects on EU energy and climate policy (ECP). We find support for the notion that right-wing and right-leaning valence populist parties are at odds with ambitious EU ECP. On the contrary, the analysed left-wing and left-leaning valence populists rely on populist discourses to demand more ambitious ECP measures. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that participation in government decreases the role of populism in parties’ ECP discourse and dilutes parties’ positions and actions.
Matúš Mišík
added an update
The key policy priority in 2021 for governments around the world has been response to Covid-19. As governments all over the world implemented measures to contain the outbreak of the pandemic, and respond to the ongoing health, social and economic crisis, consequences of these measures impacted economic and social activity, and the energy sector was no exemption. The ongoing energy transition was obviously also affected by these measures. While the short-term effects are noticeable, two views of the pandemic’s effects on energy transition emerged: either as a rupture in the continuation of transformation of energy systems into low (zero)-carbon regime; or as a break-through leap on the energy transition path away from the old, carbon-based system. While especially the industry and fossil fuel based energy sector have argued that immediate economic recovery needs to be prioritized to decarbonisation, thus supporting business-as-usual model, others have claimed that the recovery presents a unique opportunity for leapfrogging of ‘greening’ of economies and changing ways how people work and move.
Similarly to previous economic crises, the role of policy choices and the degree of involvement of governments remains crucial. The European Union is an example of a region where public funding has already made a difference in energy transition. The discussions of the European Green Deal, to date the most ambitious project to decarbonise the EU’s economy, were influenced by the pandemic response. When the Covid-19 pandemic started at the beginning of 2020, it coincided with the EU's efforts to develop more ambitious goals. The Commission created the Next Generation EU fund that is, together with the new multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027, supposed to support the post-pandemic recovery of EU members.
The special issue studies post-pandemic response, and how the related policy choices influence the decarbonization and energy transition efforts in the EU.
 
Marco Siddi
added a research item
Most scholars have described the European Union (EU) as a liberal actor in its approach to international climate and energy governance. This paper argues that the EU has shifted to a strategic approach, including the use of legislation and the adoption of negotiating positions that promote a political agenda. This is illustrated through an analysis of the EU's evolving stance on multilateral energy governance and its handling of the Nord Stream 2 project. The EU began to shift towards a strategic stance already in the 2000s, in the context of the Energy Charter Treaty negotiations and the growing securitization of European energy debates. Following the polycrisis of the mid-2010s, the EU adopted a full-fledged strategic stance on external energy policy. Geopolitical crises and great power competition, together with intra-EU divisions and an increased focus on the climate agenda, have catalyzed the EU's shift to a strategic approach.
Indra Overland
added an update
The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) has two vacancies for energy or climate researchers, one requiring a PhD and one not. Applicants should have good knowledge of technical aspects of the energy sector/climate change, excellent English, strong methodological competence and/or broad quantitative and data visualization skills. They should be hard-working, cooperative, flexible and helpful. They will work closely with me, other NUPI colleagues and external partners on a broad and varied range of topics. For an impression of the type of work we do, see the publications listed below.
If you have any questions, please contact Elisabeth Librekt Olsen elisabeth.olsen@nupi.no.
The deadline for applications is May 11th, 2021.
EXAMPLES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS
The GeGaLo index: Geopolitical gains and losses after energy transition https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211467X19300999
The Arctic Environmental Responsibility Index https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/bse.2698
The misallocation of climate research funding https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629619309119
The geopolitics of renewable energy: Debunking four emerging myths https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629618308636
Using satellite data and machine learning to study conflict-induced environmental and socioeconomic destruction https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7620/abedd9
The new oil? The geopolitics and international governance of hydrogen https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629620302425
Financial Sanctions Impact Russian Oil, Equipment Export Ban's Effects Limited https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281776234
Natural gas and CO2 price variation: Impact on the relative cost-efficiency of LNG and pipelines https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261221877
Sharing the Spoils: Winners and Losers in the Belt and Road Initiative in Myanmar https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1868103420962116
Why Choose to Cycle in a Low-Income Country? https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/18/7775
 
Jessica Jewell
added an update
Dear all,
I'm recruiting a PhD student to examine what shapes energy choices and the ambition of climate and energy plans particularly in developing countries. The researcher will be part of the ERC project MANIFEST [https://www.polet.network/projects/manifest] in the POLET research group [https://www.polet.network] and based at the Physical Resource Theory Division at Chalmers University in Sweden.
Applications should be received by May 21st, 2021.
Kind regards,
Jessica
 
Csaba Weiner
added a research item
This chapter examines the transition to low-carbon electricity in Poland and Hungary from a security–of–supply point of view. Despite large differences in emphasis, both countries aim to increase electricity generation, decrease import dependence and reduce or eliminate coal-based electricity, while turning to renewables and nuclear energy. In Poland, instead of a coal-dominated electricity mix accompanied by wind, natural gas and biomass, a coal–wind–natural gas–nuclear portfolio may emerge by 2040. In Hungary, the nuclear–natural gas–coal–biomass composition is scheduled to transform into a nuclear–solar–biomass–natural gas focus. While electricity is expected to be predominantly low-carbon in Hungary in 2040, such sources may provide only a bit more than half of the Polish power generation.
Jan Osička
added an update
Program highlights: - State of the art of the EU external energy policy and the emerging role of hydrogen - European hydrogen strategy and its role in EU’s energy transition
Confirmed speakers: - Andris Piebalgs, former EU Energy Commissioner
- Katja Biedenkopf, University Leuven
- Andreas Goldthau, University of Erfurt/IASS - ...
Apply via e-mail to osicka@mail.muni.cz by March 1.
More info in the attached flyer!
 
Jan Osička
added an update
The Czech Journal of Political Science (SCOPUS, Q1) opened a call for papers for a special issue titled "Foreign and Energy Policies of the European Union: Challenges in the Time of Growing Geopolitical Struggle Between the East and the West". The issue will address the European Union (EU) foreign and energy policy regarding relations with Russia and the United States.
The special issue aims at addressing the following issues:
1) The intertwining of energy and foreign policy in the EU within relations with the US and Russia
2) The external dimension of the EU energy policy regarding gas supplies from Russia and the US – political and legal factors.
3) Reflection of the geopolitical perspective on the energy sector concerning natural gas, nuclear energy, and related infrastructure.
4) Case studies and state-focused analyses considering implications for the EU's energy policy and security.
Papers should focus mainly (but not exclusively) on answering the following questions:
1) How do the EU's foreign and energy policies reflect relations with Russia and the US?
2) How are supply-related disputes with Russia reflected in the EU law and how the legal framework shape Russian energy companies' business strategy?
3) What are the implications of Russian and the US energy-related activities for individual EU countries (case studies)?
The deadline for submission of abstracts (250–300 words) is 14 February 2021, 23:59 CET. The abstracts are to be submitted directly to the editors:
- Martin Jirušek, Ph.D., Masaryk University, Czech Republic (jirusek.martin@mail.muni.cz)
- Jack Sharples, Ph.D., Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, United Kingdom (jack.sharples@oxfordenergy.org)
The special issue will be published in Q1/2022.
About the Czech Journal of Political Science: https://www.politologickycasopis.cz/en/
 
Aleksandra Wagner
added 5 research items
Social innovation is an important dimension of current transformations in energy systems. It can refer to alternative business models, novel policy instruments, financing schemes, participatory governance approaches to energy questions, or new discourses. Its significance for energy systems is often considered in narrow instrumentalist terms, reducing it to a tool serving particular policy objectives. Grounding the concept in social science and humanities insights, this review essay proposes a broadened social innovation understanding. We propose 1) to open up the normative complexity of the concept; 2) to appreciate the multi-actor nature of social innovation; 3) to understand it as an analytical entry point for socio-material intertwinement; and, 4) to understand social innovation as premised on experimentalism-based intervention logics. The proposed social innovation understandings provide a broader imagination and strategizing of structural changes in energy systems.
The discourse on energy transition is probably one of the most visible of all the public policy discourses in the contemporary world. How the world’s energy future is imagined is a significant factor for both implementation of this idea and understanding why the process is slower than one might expect. A promising heuristic for understanding the patterns of collective “future-making” is offered by the idea of sociotechnical imaginaries. This paper draws on the multi-level perspective to offer an in-depth analysis of the sociotechnical imaginaries reflected in pop culture, in particular in selected digital games. The authors analyse serious digital games, considering how the imaginaries of energy reflected in them can shift the energy transition.
The aim of the article is to discuss the unintended consequences of energy efficiency, in the context of defuturization, by addressing the phenomenon of the rebound effect. The energy discourse is presented as ideological discourse protecting the status quo, even if it contemplates alternatives solutions. The interpretation of energy efficiency in the light of the Luhmannian concept of temporal structures in the modern society is proposed, and two types of expert narratives on the rebound effect are outlined: the mechanistic rebound effect and the systemic Jevons paradox. Finally, we explain why none of them are noticeably reflected in public discourse on energy policy and are limited to the scientific milieu.
Martin Jirušek
added an update
Dear colleagues,
On behalf of the Czech Journal of Political Science (SCOPUS, Q1), I would like to inform you that we opened a call for papers for a special issue titled "Foreign and Energy Policies of the European Union: Challenges in the Time of Growing Geopolitical Struggle Between the East and the West". The issue will address the European Union (EU) foreign and energy policy regarding relations with Russia and the United States. 
The special issue aims at addressing the following issues:
1) The intertwining of energy and foreign policy in the EU within relations with the US and Russia
2) The external dimension of the EU energy policy regarding gas supplies from Russia and the US – political and legal factors.
3) Reflection of the geopolitical perspective on the energy sector concerning natural gas, nuclear energy, and related infrastructure.
4) Case studies and state-focused analyses considering implications for the EU's energy policy and security.
Papers should focus mainly (but not exclusively) on answering the following questions:
1) How do the EU's foreign and energy policies reflect relations with Russia and the US?
2) How are supply-related disputes with Russia reflected in the EU law and how the legal framework shape Russian energy companies' business strategy? 
3) What are the implications of Russian and the US energy-related activities for individual EU countries (case studies)?
The deadline for submission of abstracts (250–300 words) is 14 February 2021, 23:59 CET. The abstracts are to be submitted directly to the editors:
- Martin Jirušek, Ph.D., Masaryk University, Czech Republic (jirusek.martin@mail.muni.cz)
- Jack Sharples, Ph.D., Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, United Kingdom (jack.sharples@oxfordenergy.org)
The special issue will be published in Q1/2022.
About the Czech Journal of Political Science: https://www.politologickycasopis.cz/en/
 
Petr Ocelík
added a research item
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.
Martin Jirušek
added an update
Dear all,
The Czech Journal of Political Science is preparing a special issue addressing the following issues:
1) The intertwining of energy and foreign policy in the EU within relations with the US and Russia
2) The external dimension of the EU energy policy with regard to gas supplies from Russia and the US – political and legal factors.
3) Reflection of the geopolitical perspective on the energy sector concerning natural gas, nuclear energy, and related infrastructure.
4) Case studies and state-focused analyses should consider implications for the EU´s energy policy and security.
Papers should focus mainly (but not exclusively) on answering the following questions:
1) How the EU´s foreign and energy policies reflect relations with Russia and the US?
2) How are supply-related disputes with Russia reflected in the EU law and how the legal framework shape the business strategy of Russian energy companies?
3) What are the implications of Russian and the US energy-related activities for individual EU countries (case studies)?
The deadline for submission of abstracts (250–300 words) is 14 February 2021 23:59 CET. The abstracts have to be submitted directly to the editors:
- Martin Jirušek, PhD, Masaryk University, Czech Republic (jirusek.martin@mail.muni.cz)
- Jack Sharples, PhD, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, United Kingdom (jack.sharples@oxfordenergy.org)
Let me know if you have any questions.
See the call in the attachment for additional details.
About the journal: The Czech Journal of Political Science/Politologický časopis is indexed in the following databases: SCOPUS (Q1), Clarivate Analytics Emerging Sources Citation Index, ERIH PLUS, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Central and Eastern European Online Library and EBSCO. See more here: https://www.politologickycasopis.cz/en/
 
Martin Jirušek
added a research item
The article analyses individual stances of the Visegrad Group countries (i.e. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) towards infrastructural projects in the natural gas sector currently being built by Gazprom, and determining factors influencing their respective attitudes. More specifically, the research focused on Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, pipelines that aim at supplying Europe while circumventing traditional transit countries in the central and Eastern Europe, including the Visegrad group countries. The paper is organized as a series of individual case studies, each dedicated to one state under scrutiny. The author concluded that there is no common ground upon which a unified stance of the Visegrad Group could be formulated in this regard. Also, the states differ in adherence to theoretical attitudes to energy policy in general. Despite the declared unity, the Visegrad Group states pursue their own goals determined by economic interests or long-standing foreign policy stance. Consequently, central Europe is fragmented in its attitude towards the Russian infrastructural projects and thus more prone to penetration and individualized deals.
Naghmeh Nasiritousi
added a research item
The legitimacy of international institutions has in recent years received growing interest from scholars, yet analyses of stakeholder perceptions of the legitimacy of institutions that coexist within a governance field have been few in number. Motivated by the proliferation of institutions in the field of global climate and energy governance, this study maps stakeholder perceptions of legitimate institutions and their sources of legitimacy in global renewable energy governance. Specifically, the article makes three contributions to the existing literature. Theoretically, it unpacks the legitimacy concept and offers a multidimensional conception of legitimacy. Methodologically, it captures these different dimensions of legitimacy by relying on three open survey questions. Empirically, it maps legitimacy perceptions among climate and energy experts and not only shows which institutions are considered most legitimate, but also why they are considered legitimate and how this varies between different stakeholders. The article thereby contributes to the literature on legitimacy by providing new insights into the sources of legitimacy among international institutions that operate under institutional complexity. Introduction Global governance is today made up of a patchwork of international institutions that operate with different, albeit sometimes overlapping mandates. The International Relations literature has shown that international institutions matter and that they can make a positive contribution to solving international problems. 1 Recent studies have highlighted the importance of institutions being considered legitimate in order to be stable and function effectively. 2 It is therefore important to understand both the extent to which different international institutions are considered legitimate, and the sources of legitimacy in terms of the institutional traits that leads to an
Aron Buzogany
added a research item
This article focuses on the Fridays for Future movement (FFF) and its attempt to gain interpretative sovereignty over the complex phenomenon of climate change, its effects and adaptation measures. By means of a framing analysis, the aim is to capture the goals and mobilization possibilities of the FFF. The identification of interpretative frameworks is central to investigate, which societal problems are taken up by the social movement and how they are used strategically. The article combines a qualitative analysis of movement texts from the FFF webpage and also of press releases, with data from two protest surveys conducted in March and September 2019. The framing analysis shows how FFF organizes protest and resistance and which specific interpretations of the climate crisis are used as a strategic tool to implement the climate policy as it is being preferred by the movement.
Tor Håkon Jackson Inderberg
added a research item
Global climate change negotiations are delivering expectations that all nations must commit to rapidly reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. It is unclear why there is such significant variability in nations' decarbonisation ambitions. We use the lens of 'energy cultures' to explore what insights this analysis can offer to this question. We suggest that a country's 'energy culture' can be envisaged as the interplay between normative, material, institutional and policy-related attributes of the national decision-making apparatus. This provides a meta-framework which underpins our exploration of factors which previous studies suggest may shape national energy ambitions. We apply this framework to case studies of India, Denmark, China and Russia to see whether it has explanatory power across diverse cases, initially using four empirical indicators. There was no consistent correlation between the indicators and low-carbon ambitions, which led us to draw more deeply and inductively on the cultural influences evident in each nation over a 30-year period. Our findings suggest that national low-carbon ambitions are strongly cultural, contingent upon how any particular nation sees the role of energy, and the choices, policies, investments and actions that flow from this. This energy culture may constrain the extent to which nations are willing to respond to the challenge of climate change. The analysis indicates how nations require very different stimuli if they are to strengthen their low-carbon trajectories. We conclude that the concept of national energy cultures is a useful addition to approaches that are examining how to raise national low-carbon ambitions.
Thijs Van de Graaf
added a research item
Over the past few years, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been one of the most divisive issues in EU politics, with some member states opposing the project, others supporting it, and a third group adopting a neutral stance. Which conditions explain these varying national positions? Our study offers the first systematic attempt to examine preference formation with regard to Nord Stream 2 across the entire EU membership. Drawing on elite surveys, we compile an original dataset to position EU member states in the Nord Stream 2 debate. We then perform a Qualitative Comparative Analysis to uncover the determinants of the differing positions taken by member states. The Nord Stream 2 controversy is employed as a testing ground for new intergovernmentalist theory, which argues that preference formation is not just shaped by material and (geo)political conditions, but also by the preferences of other member states. Our study finds that material benefits and the role of Russia are relevant conditions for position formation on Nord Stream 2. However, in this case, we did not find evidence for the importance of other member states' preferences.
Elin Lerum Boasson
added a research item
Challenging one-eyed technology-focused accounts of renewables policy, this book provides a ground-breaking, deep-diving and genre-crossing longitudinal study of policy development. The book develops a multi-field explanatory approach, capturing inter-relationships between actors often analyzed in isolation. It provides empirically rich and systematically conducted comparative case studies on the political dynamics of the ongoing energy transition in six European countries. While France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom opted for ‘technology-specific’ renewables support mixes, Norway and Sweden embarked on ‘technology-neutral’ support mixes. Differences between the two groups result from variations in domestic political and organizational fields, but developments over time in the European environment also spurred variation. These findings challenge more simplistic and static accounts of Europeanization. This volume will be of key interest to scholars and students of energy transitions, comparative climate politics, policy theory, Europeanization, European integration and comparative European politics more broadly, as well practitioners with an interest in renewable energy and climate transition. The Open Access version of this book, available at: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429198144, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
Jan Osička
added an update
Interested in the ECPR conference in Innsbruck next year? Help us build a strong section program by sending a panel proposal (title + 2-3 sentences) by November 20 to osicka@mail.muni.cz.
Our section's draft proposal: The ongoing merger of climate and energy policies has broadened the energy agenda, disrupted institutional balance within jurisdictions, and pushed the decision-makers towards greater interaction with the public: be it in the form of addressing climate skepticism or through steering the processes of decentralization and democratization of energy supply. This creates new tensions between expert-led and previously autonomous domain of energy governance and the calls for a more inclusive approach, expanding the range of stakeholders involved. But what can be the results of this shift? How should acceptance, political feasibility and participation be framed to strike a balance between effectiveness and legitimacy?
Taking this development as a point of departure, the section addresses general issues such as: the interplay between integration and fragmentation in energy politics, trade-offs and synergies between energy policy goals, or legitimacy and acceptance of disruptive policy and technological innovations.
Potential contributors are encouraged to emphasize diversity in theoretical and analytical approaches and levels of analysis.
 
Tor Håkon Jackson Inderberg
added a research item
Solar prosuming is an emerging phenomenon in which many actor groups are involved in shaping new solutions. Here we study national policymakers, relevant stakeholders such as grid companies, and the prosumers themselves and the interconnections between them-to provide a contextualised exploration of positions, perceptions and interconnections that influence prosuming activities. Our 65 in-depth interviews in Norway, 33 of which with pioneering prosumers show that this group is not attracted to prosuming primarily for financial reasons, but for pursuing particular identities. However, our results also indicate that if prosuming were to become more widespread, economic considerations would be central. Further, the interplay among actor groups, mediated through current regulations and technologies, and the related perceptions, affect the uptake and organisation of solar prosuming activities. Third-party market actors such as the solar and building industry play important roles, as do grid companies and municipalities that are expected to facilitate prosuming activities. Given the current policy framework in Norway, we conclude that if increasing prosuming activities becomes a desired political goal, this will require stronger financial incentives for individual prosumers, and a deeper understanding of the interplay among actors across arenas and sectors.
Csaba Weiner
added a research item
Hungarian energy governance conveys a unique disposition, filled with contradictions, lacking clarity, but reflecting centralized control at the highest echelons of politics. Like many of its Central and Eastern European (CEE) neighbors, it is still entrenched in preexisting producer-consumer relations that shape its amicable relations with Russia, while its accession to the European Union has led it to take on disruptive climate and energy policy targets. The country’s energy transition has been unfolding slowly, as the government maintains a moderate pace of action. The diffusion of renewables continues to unfold in the shadow of other historical legacies, most prominently Russia-sourced nuclear power technology, natural gas, and oil. Power and control over energy corporations is concentrated in the hands of those closely aligned with the government, and multilevel governance is subordinated to anticipate or execute the objectives dictated by political leaders. Challenges mount in the Hungarian sector as we move towards the 2030 and 2050 EU decarbonization targets, which will pressure the government to implement much more disruptive measures, severing and rewriting historical energy-based ties.
Anna Herranz-Surralles
added a research item
The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a rare example of rules-based international energy governance, joining consumer, producer and transit countries. Besides extending the multilateral trade rules to the energy domain, the ECT has also become the most often invoked international investment agreement. However, the evolution of the ECT has remained particularly susceptible to changing international power balances and ideational struggles. In reviewing the main scholarly and practical debates on the ECT, this chapter walks through three decades of European and global energy governance, addressing the emergence, transformation, and the recent mixed signs of modernisation and decline of the ECT. The chapter touches on several core debates across disciplines, from the factors explaining the emergence of international regimes, the problem of overlapping regional and international legal orders or the consequences of politicisation of international economic institutions. The chapter concludes with a forward-looking reflection on the main challenges facing the ECT in a context of crisis of the liberal world order and growingly relevant concerns such as climate change and the security implications of foreign investment.
Matúš Mišík
added a research item
This book examines energy transition issues within the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. The European Union is aiming for an almost complete decarbonization of its energy sector by 2050. However, the path towards a carbon-free economy is full of challenges that must be solved by individual EU members. Across 18 chapters, leading researchers explore challenges related to energy transition and analyse individual EU members from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the region as a whole. To further explore this complex issue, the volume also includes several countries from South East Europe in its analysis. As perspective members, these countries will be important contributors to the EU’s mid- and long-term climate and energy goals. The focus on a variety of issues connected to energy transition and systematic analyses of the different CEE countries make it an ideal reference for anyone with a general interest in the region or European energy transition. It will also be a useful resource for students looking for an accessible overview of the field. Matúš Mišík is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Comenius University in Bratislava. His main research interests include energy security in the EU and the role of perception within EU decision-making mechanisms. He is the author of External Energy Security in the European Union (2019) and has published articles in major energy policy journals. Veronika Oravcová is Research Assistant at the Department of Political Science at Comenius University in Bratislava and Research Fellow at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association. Her research interests are centered on energy transition and energy security in Central and Eastern Europe.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
Energy democracy' has evolved from a slogan used by activists demanding a greater say in energy-related decision-making to a term used in policy documents and scholarly literature on energy governance and energy transitions. This article reviews the academic literature using a combination of three methodological elements: (1) keyword searches of major bibliographical databases for quantification purposes; (2) an innovative method referred to as 'circulation tracing' to assess impact; and (3) in-depth discussion of the theoretical underpinnings, implications and interconnections of different parts of the literature. A conceptual framework is developed around three divergent understandings of the term 'energy democracy': (1) a process driven forwards by a popular movement; (2) an outcome of decarbonisation; and (3) a goal or ideal to which stakeholders aspire. The review also highlights some weaknesses of the literature: fragmentation between its European and American branches, which barely relate to each other; implicit or absent linkages between 'energy democracy' and broader theories of democracy; a tendency to idealise societal grassroots; confusion about the roles of the state, private capital and communities; and lack of attention to the threat posed by energy populism. Proponents should not assume that more energy democracy will inherently mean faster decarbonisation, improved energy access or social wellbeing. Finally, more emphasis should be placed on the role of research in providing evidence to ground energy democracy-related analyses and discussions.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
Energy democracy' has evolved from a slogan used by activists demanding a greater say in energy-related decision-making to a term used in policy documents and scholarly literature on energy governance and energy transitions. This article reviews the academic literature using a combination of three methodological elements: (1) keyword searches of major bibliographical databases for quantification purposes; (2) an innovative method referred to as 'circulation tracing' to assess impact; and (3) in-depth discussion of the theoretical underpinnings, implications and interconnections of different parts of the literature. A conceptual framework is developed around three divergent understandings of the term 'energy democracy': (1) a process driven forwards by a popular movement; (2) an outcome of decarbonisation; and (3) a goal or ideal to which stakeholders aspire. The review also highlights some weaknesses of the literature: fragmentation between its European and American branches, which barely relate to each other; implicit or absent linkages between 'energy democracy' and broader theories of democracy; a tendency to idealise societal grassroots; confusion about the roles of the state, private capital and communities; and lack of attention to the threat posed by energy populism. Proponents should not assume that more energy democracy will inherently equate to faster decarbonisation, improved energy access or social wellbeing. Finally, more emphasis should be placed on the role of research in providing evidence to ground energy democracy-related analyses and discussions.
Tor Håkon Jackson Inderberg
added 2 research items
With national electricity systems, 'transition' may involve decentralising production and ownership, and digitalising the system. These processes are facilitated by smart metering, 'prosuming,' and changes in consumer behaviour. Driving factors may be national steering, or the process can be left to the market. In Norway, the government has opted for tightly steered national coordination of three key areas: national smart-meter implementation (since 2011), prosumer regulation (since 2016), and a national end-user demand flexibility regulation (expected to be adopted in 2020). These regulations influence production patterns, energy flows and grid activities. Drawing on organisational fields theory, this article asks: Why was it decided to adopt these policies centrally? Which actors have had greatest influence on policy outputs? And, finally, what of the possible implications? The regulations, developed in a sector in a state of field crisis, have generally been supported by the relevant actors. The Norwegian case can help to explain incumbent roles and field crisis, as well as nuanced drivers in complex transitions, beyond decarbonisation.
While windpower is expanding globally, so too is the concern over increased land-use pressure and the environmental impacts of large-scale power plants. In the literature, little is known about how local resistance and environmental impacts affect windpower licensing decisions. This article addresses this knowledge gap by investigating the weight accorded these factors in a licensing process. Using a new and comprehensive dataset based on all windpower project applications in Norway 2000–2019, we statistically analyse whether environmental impact and the stance taken by local authorities influence the final licensing decision. Both factors are found to have a strong influence: a high environmental impact substantially reduces the likelihood of obtaining a licence, and a negative hosting municipality in practice has almost veto power. Our findings have important implications for research on energy democracy, energy justice and fairness, environmental policy integration and the acceptance literature. As little quantitative research has examined how environmental factors and stakeholder positions affect licensing decisions, this article contributes general insights and an analytical approach which can be used comparatively across contexts and sectors.
Thijs Van de Graaf
added a research item
Scholars of the EU’s external relations have long debated the question which ‘power’ the EU represents. When it comes to the EU’s external energy relations, there is a convergence of views that the Commission has begun to assert its regulatory power beyond its own borders. Yet, few scholars have attempted to open the black box of this ‘liberal mercantilist’ model. This paper aims to fill that gap by process tracing and explaining the Commission’s attempts to stymie the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Our analysis shows that the Commission has attempted, largely in vein, to achieve geopolitical ends through legal means. We find that this outcome can be explained through the lens of new integration theories. Our analysis illustrates both the limits of the Commission’s regulatory toolbox and its efforts to broaden its mandate and strengthen its regulatory powers.
Philipp Thaler
added a research item
Since the beginning of European integration, EU member states have been reluctant to share competences over their external energy relations. Against this backdrop, the new requirement to have bilateral energy agreements assessed by the Commission implies a surprising expansion of supranational powers in energy diplomacy. Philipp Thaler and Vija Pakalkaite take a closer look at this development and find that it is closely linked to a novel instrument for compliance governance. As peculiar as this case may seem at first sight, the underlying procedural expansion of supranational governance capacity may play a growing role in future chapters of European integration.
Kacper Szulecki
added a research item
States have increasingly become linked through regional energy-related institutions, mar kets, infrastructure, and politics. ASEAN, EU, SADC, ECOWAS, Eurasian Union, NAFTA, and UNASUR, inter alia, have formal agreements and institutions covering energy. Re newable, nuclear, and fossil fuel energy sources, as well as pipelines and electricity grids, are all covered in the variety of regional formal and informal arrangements. In parallel, the scholarly body of literature on comparative regionalism is expanding, but generally without energy as a focus area. In a systematic review of eighty-six international relations and politics journals, this chapter finds fifty-two articles over a seventeen-year period linking regions and energy. While scholars are giving more attention to the empirics of energy regionalism, research now needs to turn to more systematic theory building along with comparisons between regions and across energy sources and infrastructure types. The chapter concludes with recommendations for a research agenda that focuses on three sets of questions about drivers, institutional design, and effects.
Thijs Van de Graaf
added a research item
While most hydrogen research focuses on the technical and cost hurdles to a full-scale hydrogen economy, little consideration has been given to the geopolitical drivers and consequences of hydrogen developments. The technologies and infrastructures underpinning a hydrogen economy can take markedly different forms, and the choice over which pathway to take is the object of competition between different stakeholders and countries. Over time, cross-border maritime trade in hydrogen has the potential to fundamentally redraw the geography of global energy trade, create a new class of energy exporters, and reshape geopolitical relations and alliances between countries. International governance and investments to scale up hydrogen value chains could reduce the risk of market fragmentation, carbon lock-in, and intensified geo-economic rivalry.
Petr Ocelík
added a research item
Transitioning to a decarbonized economy is a crucial part of climate change mitigation, with the phasing-out of coal, as the most significant source of carbon dioxide emissions, being the centerpiece of this effort. In the European context, the increasing pressures exerted especially on the basis of the European Union's energy and climate policy, coupled with the inherent uncertainty of the transition process, encourage various struggles among the involved policy actors over the setting of specific transition pathways. One site of such contestation is media discourse, which may facilitate or limit policy change through agenda-setting, framing, and other processes. Importantly, discursive struggles also include industry incumbents, who have a vested interest in preserving the existing sociotechnical regime. This paper focuses on the position of incumbents in terms of their relationship with governing political parties and the discursive strategies they employ. It explores the policy debate on coal mining expansion which took place in 2015 in the Czech Republic, a post-communist country with a coal-dependent economy, skeptical position on energy transition, and a powerful energy industry. The research employs discourse network analysis to examine a corpus compiled from daily newspapers and applies block modeling techniques to analyze patterns of relationships within and between actor groups. The results show that incumbents successfully prevented policy change in the direction of rapid coal phase-out by exploiting discourse alignment with governing parties and efficiently employing discursive strategies based primarily on securitization of socioeconomic issues.
Marco Siddi
added a research item
This Working Paper analyses the main aspects of the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission in December 2019. It puts the Green Deal into the broader context of EU climate governance in order to assess whether and how it advances the EU’s climate agenda. The paper proposes four broad and interrelated categories to evaluate the Green Deal. Its performance depends on whether it is and will remain a policy priority, despite the Covid-19 emergency and the ensuing economic crisis. Second, successful implementation depends on adequate financial endowment, including the shift of public funding from hydrocarbons to renewables and energy efficiency in post-pandemic economic programmes. The legal competence of EU institutions to coordinate and enforce the implementation of the Green Deal is also essential, as highlighted by ongoing discussions concerning the governance to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. Furthermore, international cooperation with third partners on issues such as border carbon adjustment, technology transfers and green industry will influence both the implementation of the Green Deal in the EU and the contribution of other major emitters to the climate agenda.
Marco Siddi
added an update
This Working Paper analyses the main aspects of the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission in December 2019. It puts the Green Deal into the broader context of EU climate governance in order to assess whether and how it advances the EU’s climate agenda. The paper proposes four broad and interrelated categories to evaluate the Green Deal.
Its performance depends on whether it is and will remain a policy priority, despite the Covid-19 emergency and the ensuing economic crisis. Second, successful implementation depends on adequate financial endowment, including the shift of public funding from hydrocarbons to renewables and energy efficiency in post-pandemic economic programmes. The legal competence of EU institutions to coordinate and enforce the implementation of the Green Deal is also essential, as highlighted by ongoing discussions concerning the governance to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. Furthermore, international cooperation with third partners on issues such as border carbon adjustment, technology transfers and green industry will influence both the implementation of the Green Deal in the EU and the contribution of other major emitters to the climate agenda.
 
Nicolas Schmid
added a research item
When addressing complex societal problems, public regulation is increasingly complemented by private regulation. Extant literature has provided valuable insights into the effectiveness of such complex governance structures, with most empirical studies focusing on how public regulation influences private regulation. Conversely, the impact of private on public regulation is less well studied. Here, we investigate this impact with a focus on technological change as possible mechanism. Based on a case study of energy efficiency in buildings in Switzerland, we find evidence of a symbiotic interaction between public and private regulation that leads to ratcheting‐up of regulatory stringency. We identify technological change as the mechanism linking private and public regulation. We discuss the relevance of our findings for governance literature and regulators.