University of Twente Student Theses


Detecting policy change : the focus on nuclear power in EU energy policy from 2006-2020

Everts, D.W. (2021) Detecting policy change : the focus on nuclear power in EU energy policy from 2006-2020.

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Abstract:Accounting for more than 75% of the EU’s total GHG emissions, the energy system is in need of a low-carbon transformation as demand continues to grow. Though often perceived as controversial, nuclear energy is argued to be a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels that has the potential to support the achievement of international climate goals. Ergo, the following research examines the extent to which EU energy policy focuses on nuclear and how this can be explained. The research method entails a content analysis of respective EU energy policy documents ranging from the first common energy policy (2006) to the 2020 report on the Energy Union using insights from various policy change theories, including the advocacy coalition framework (ACF), multiple stream framework (MSF), and science and technologies studies (STS). Research shows that there is meager focus on nuclear energy in EU energy policy. This can be explained by numerous economic, environmental, political, technical and social factors. Examples include events in the geopolitical context, such as prior nuclear catastrophes as well as Germany’s nuclear phase-out. Focusing events shape values and beliefs, naturally resulting in conflicting coalitions, and consequently, in a marginal and ambiguous focus on nuclear power in EU energy policy.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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