Perspectives on Energy, Governance and Profound Change
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It has been observed on a number of occasions that within the social sciences there are competing doctrines, or sets of normative ideas, about the objectives and organisation of state policy. These also compete to provide explanations of and solutions to problems in the social and political world, and offer ideas about the goals to which state policy should be directed and how politics and economics, or states and markets, ought to be related to one another (cf. Runciman 1969: 156ff.; Smith 1987; Strange 1988: 16). It is within this broader context that energy governance is analysed here. Three primary perspectives are identified as having been influential over energy policy in the 2000s, namely pro-market, geopolitical and climate perspectives. This chapter will be organised around these three different and in some ways competing understandings of, and political approaches to, energy. The pro-market perspective has, as with other areas of research, dominated analyses of UK energy over the past few decades, both in academia and within the Energy Directorate of the DTI. This has left little room for insights from other perspectives offered within the social sciences. More recently, however, geopolitical and climate interpretations have become increasingly commonplace and have had a growing impact on how energy is governed.
KeywordsEnergy Policy Energy Market Energy Security Political Approach Energy Trade
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- 2.For an example of this kind of approach to environmentalism, see Anderson, Terry and Leal, Donald (1991) Free Market Environmentalism. Boulder, San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.Google Scholar