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The application of contrast explanation to energy policy research: UK nuclear energy policy 2002–2012

Listed author(s):
  • Heffron, Raphael J.

This paper advances the application of the methodology, contrast explanation, to energy policy research. Research in energy policy is complex and often involves inter-disciplinary work, which traditional economic methodologies fail to capture. Consequently, the more encompassing methodology of contrast explanation is assessed and its use in other social science disciplines explored in brief. It is then applied to an energy policy research topic—in this case, nuclear energy policy research in the UK. Contrast explanation facilitates research into policy and decision-making processes in energy studies and offers an alternative to the traditional economic methods used in energy research. Further, contrast explanation is extended by the addition of contested and uncontested hypotheses analyses. This research focuses on the methods employed to deliver the new nuclear programme of the UK government. In order to achieve a sustainable nuclear energy policy three issues are of major importance: (1) law, policy and development; (2) public administration; and (3) project management. Further, the research identifies that policy in the area remains to be resolved, in particular at an institutional and legal level. However, contrary to the literature, in some areas, the research identifies a change of course as the UK concentrates on delivering a long-term policy for the nuclear energy sector and the overall energy sector.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 55 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 602-616

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:55:y:2013:i:c:p:602-616
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.12.046
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  1. Kouris, George, 1980. "Limits to energy policy analysis -- a reply to Weinberg," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 175-176, June.
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  10. Corbey, Dorette, 1995. "Dialectical functionalism: stagnation as a booster of European integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(02), pages 253-284, March.
  11. Folkes, Valerie S & Martin, Ingrid M & Gupta, Kamal, 1993. " When to Say When: Effects of Supply on Usage," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 467-477, December.
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  13. Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1911. "The Principles of Scientific Management," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number taylor1911.
  14. Pamela Moss, 1998. "Recovering a Dialectical View of Rationality," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 55-67, November.
  15. MacKerron, Gordon, 2004. "Nuclear power and the characteristics of `ordinariness'--the case of UK energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1957-1965, November.
  16. Marleen Kerkhof, 2006. "Making a difference: On the constraints of consensus building and the relevance of deliberation in stakeholder dialogues," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 39(3), pages 279-299, September.
  17. Freedman, David & Rothenberg, Thomas & Sutch, Richard, 1983. "On Energy Policy Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(1), pages 24-32, January.
  18. Freedman, David & Rothenberg, Thomas & Sutch, Richard, 1983. "On Energy Policy Models: Rejoinder," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-36, January.
  19. Tony Lawson, 2009. "Applied economics, contrast explanation and asymmetric information," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 405-419, May.
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