Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy

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Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy. / Laes, Erik; Meskens, Gaston; D'haeseleer, William; Weiler, Raoul; Bovy, Michel (Peer reviewer).

In: Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2005, p. 357-376.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Laes, E, Meskens, G, D'haeseleer, W, Weiler, R & Bovy, M 2005, 'Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy', Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 357-376.

APA

Laes, E., Meskens, G., D'haeseleer, W., Weiler, R., & Bovy, M. (2005). Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 18(3), 357-376.

Vancouver

Laes E, Meskens G, D'haeseleer W, Weiler R, Bovy M. Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy. Journal of Enterprise Information Management. 2005;18(3):357-376.

Author

Laes, Erik ; Meskens, Gaston ; D'haeseleer, William ; Weiler, Raoul ; Bovy, Michel. / Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy. In: Journal of Enterprise Information Management. 2005 ; Vol. 18, No. 3. pp. 357-376.

Bibtex - Download

@article{b14d0d3fd12c46a793dcb07acf55f6ab,
title = "Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy",
abstract = "Purpose This paper analyses the justification of technological choices and options in the context of nuclear energy policy. We argue that 'society' increasingly demands a justification with regard to the level of uncertainty and inequality a certain technological choice induces. We aim to demonstrate that policy makers in fact do address these issues, but depending on how they define the problem, this is done in a more explicit (overt) or implicit (covert) way. Design/methodology/approach First, the changing context with regard to the justification of technological choices is briefly sketched. We draw the attention to the link between the way a certain (energy) policy problem is defined, and the way the framework for political decision making is set up in response to the problem. In order to clarify this observation, we make use of a scheme derived from policy sciences, mapping out policy problems in two dimensions: the (lack of) certainty concerning the kinds of knowledge a problem may require, and the (lack of) consensus on relevant values (i.e. 'the common good', 'basic rights', etc.). Each type of policy problem requires a distinct solution strategy. A so-called Type III-error occurs when the wrong problem is solved by employing a strategy which does not apply to the problem at hand. In that case, political theory predicts strategic behavior in order to actively suppress or blur value differences. The Belgian decision to phase out nuclear power is used as a case study to illustrate some of the theoretical implications of the scheme. Findings Several Type III-errors could be demonstrated in the case of the Belgian phase out. In this case, social learning was severely hampered by different methodological approaches; lack of data; different perceptions of relevant time scales; different framing of the problem; institutional barriers; lack of communication; strategic use of scientific assessments by different stakeholders; and insufficient knowledge of scientific assessments. Value of paper The paper aims to broaden the debate on energy policy outside the boundaries of institutional decision making. We conclude with some practical recommendations for future energy policy, regarding problem structuring, defining possible options, goal and strategy formulation and monitoring of choices.",
keywords = "decision making, nuclear energy industry, risk assessment, sustainable development",
author = "Erik Laes and Gaston Meskens and William D'haeseleer and Raoul Weiler and Michel Bovy",
note = "Score = 10",
year = "2005",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "357--376",
journal = "Journal of Enterprise Information Management",
issn = "1741-0398",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing",
number = "3",

}

RIS - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Addressing uncertainty and inequality in nuclear policy

AU - Laes, Erik

AU - Meskens, Gaston

AU - D'haeseleer, William

AU - Weiler, Raoul

A2 - Bovy, Michel

N1 - Score = 10

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - Purpose This paper analyses the justification of technological choices and options in the context of nuclear energy policy. We argue that 'society' increasingly demands a justification with regard to the level of uncertainty and inequality a certain technological choice induces. We aim to demonstrate that policy makers in fact do address these issues, but depending on how they define the problem, this is done in a more explicit (overt) or implicit (covert) way. Design/methodology/approach First, the changing context with regard to the justification of technological choices is briefly sketched. We draw the attention to the link between the way a certain (energy) policy problem is defined, and the way the framework for political decision making is set up in response to the problem. In order to clarify this observation, we make use of a scheme derived from policy sciences, mapping out policy problems in two dimensions: the (lack of) certainty concerning the kinds of knowledge a problem may require, and the (lack of) consensus on relevant values (i.e. 'the common good', 'basic rights', etc.). Each type of policy problem requires a distinct solution strategy. A so-called Type III-error occurs when the wrong problem is solved by employing a strategy which does not apply to the problem at hand. In that case, political theory predicts strategic behavior in order to actively suppress or blur value differences. The Belgian decision to phase out nuclear power is used as a case study to illustrate some of the theoretical implications of the scheme. Findings Several Type III-errors could be demonstrated in the case of the Belgian phase out. In this case, social learning was severely hampered by different methodological approaches; lack of data; different perceptions of relevant time scales; different framing of the problem; institutional barriers; lack of communication; strategic use of scientific assessments by different stakeholders; and insufficient knowledge of scientific assessments. Value of paper The paper aims to broaden the debate on energy policy outside the boundaries of institutional decision making. We conclude with some practical recommendations for future energy policy, regarding problem structuring, defining possible options, goal and strategy formulation and monitoring of choices.

AB - Purpose This paper analyses the justification of technological choices and options in the context of nuclear energy policy. We argue that 'society' increasingly demands a justification with regard to the level of uncertainty and inequality a certain technological choice induces. We aim to demonstrate that policy makers in fact do address these issues, but depending on how they define the problem, this is done in a more explicit (overt) or implicit (covert) way. Design/methodology/approach First, the changing context with regard to the justification of technological choices is briefly sketched. We draw the attention to the link between the way a certain (energy) policy problem is defined, and the way the framework for political decision making is set up in response to the problem. In order to clarify this observation, we make use of a scheme derived from policy sciences, mapping out policy problems in two dimensions: the (lack of) certainty concerning the kinds of knowledge a problem may require, and the (lack of) consensus on relevant values (i.e. 'the common good', 'basic rights', etc.). Each type of policy problem requires a distinct solution strategy. A so-called Type III-error occurs when the wrong problem is solved by employing a strategy which does not apply to the problem at hand. In that case, political theory predicts strategic behavior in order to actively suppress or blur value differences. The Belgian decision to phase out nuclear power is used as a case study to illustrate some of the theoretical implications of the scheme. Findings Several Type III-errors could be demonstrated in the case of the Belgian phase out. In this case, social learning was severely hampered by different methodological approaches; lack of data; different perceptions of relevant time scales; different framing of the problem; institutional barriers; lack of communication; strategic use of scientific assessments by different stakeholders; and insufficient knowledge of scientific assessments. Value of paper The paper aims to broaden the debate on energy policy outside the boundaries of institutional decision making. We conclude with some practical recommendations for future energy policy, regarding problem structuring, defining possible options, goal and strategy formulation and monitoring of choices.

KW - decision making

KW - nuclear energy industry

KW - risk assessment

KW - sustainable development

UR - http://knowledgecentre.sckcen.be/so2/bibref/2547

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 357

EP - 376

JO - Journal of Enterprise Information Management

JF - Journal of Enterprise Information Management

SN - 1741-0398

IS - 3

ER -

ID: 261219