Panels details > Panel 20

P20 - Disputing the credibility of economic arguments in energy controversies and future scenarios: the increasing role of new publics challenging experts

PANEL Organizers
Francis Chateauraynaud (, GSPR, EHESS (France)
Markku Lehtonen (, GSPR, EHESS (France) & SPRU, University of Sussex (United Kingdom)

Economic arguments have gained an increasingly prominent role in public discussion and controversies over energy policy choices. Until recently, public debate on energy policies has been largely dominated by topics such as energy security, and health and environmental concerns (climate change, pollution, accident risks, land use change, etc.). Controversies over the economic viability of various energy generation options have, by contrast, to a large extent remained an exclusive domain of “accredited”, “official” experts. With the onset of the current economic crisis, controversies over the economics of energy choices have ceased to be an exclusive domain of “official”, “accredited” experts, as a broad variety of publics today argue over issues such as the economics of different energy options at various timescales, the sharing of costs and benefits of low-carbon energy “transitions”, the chronic tendency of large energy megaprojects to exceed their budgets, technological learning, the forecasted cost and price evolution under specific energy scenarios, and the desirability of various support schemes and subsidies.
This panel calls for empirical and theoretical contributions examining the role of economic argumentation in energy policy controversies and energy scenarios. Examples of relevant topics include the following:

  • the credibility of different experts in economic argumentation
  • the various ways in which economic ‘experts’ address and seek to persuade the diverse key publics,
  • rivalries between competing economic schools of thought economics: and the access of these schools of thought to public debate, and the credibility of different schools of thought in the eyes of the varying publics
  • the various ways in which the credibility of economic experts is constructed and contested;
  • the role of country-specific idiosyncrasies, “socio-political cultures” and “socio-political regimes”  in shaping economic argumentation; and
  • any other question that engages with the broad theme of “the role of economics in energy policy controversies”

Controversies, energy policy, economics, economic arguments, argumentation, energy scenarios

Faculty E2.14

SESSION 1 : 9/07/15 : 14:00-15:30
Chair: Markku Lehtonen (, GSPR, EHESS (France) & University of Sussex (United Kingdom)
Discussant: Francis Chateauraynaud (, GSPR, EHESS (France)

Economic arguments and controversies over the design of a carbon tax reform. Lessons from a French experience
Emmanuel Combet (, CIRED (France)

Deconstructing the legitimacy of environmental markets
Richard Van Der Hoff (, Radboud University (The Netherlands) - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG (Brazil),
Raoni Rajão, UFMG (Brazil),
Pieter Leroy, Radboud University (The Netherlands)

The Rise of Energetic Citizens. Economic Arguments, Empowerment and Smart Technologies in the Debate around the Decentralization of Energy
Josquin Debaz (, GSPR/EHESS (France)

SESSION 2 : 09/07/15 : 16:00-17:30
Chair: Francis Chateauraynaud (, GSPR, EHESS (France)
Discussant: Markku Lehtonen (, GSPR, EHESS (France) & University of Sussex (United Kingdom)

The business case as policy analysis and as policy frame: the case of nuclear energy in Saskatchewan
Jeremy Rayner (, University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

Legitimizing energy strategies: notion of rationality and economic logics
Ekaterina Tarasova (, Södertörn University (Sweden)

Electronuclear and socio-economic scenarios: building “Generation IV" nuclear power plants decision-making processes
Stéphanie Tillement, Benoît Journé, Charles Stoessel, and Stéphane Guyard (, Université de Nantes (France)

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