Reassembling Energy Policy

Models, Forecasts, and Policy Change in Germany and France

  • Stefan Cihan Aykut Universität Hamburg

Abstract

Ongoing debates about the need to deeply transform energy systems worldwide have spurred renewed scholarly interest in the role of future-visions and foreknowledge in energy policy. Forecasts and scenarios are in fact ubiquitous in energy debates: commonly calculated using energy models, they are employed by governments, administrations and civil society actors to identify problems, choose between potential solutions, and justify specific forms of political intervention. This article contributes to these debates through a historic study of foreknowledge-making – modelling, forecasting, and scenario-building – and its relationship to the structuring of ‘energy policy’ as an autonomous policy domain in France and Germany. It brings together two strands of literature: work in the anthropology of politics on ‘policy assemblages’, and STS research on the ‘performative’ effects of foreknowledge. The main argument is that new ways of assembling energy systems in energy modelling, and of bringing together policy networks in scenario-building and forecasting exercises, can contribute to policy change. To analyse the conditions under which such change occurs, the article focuses on two periods: the making of national energy policies as ‘energy supply policies’ in the post-war decades; and challenges to dominant approaches to energy policy and energy modelling in the 1970s and 1980s. It concludes by arguing that further research should not only focus on the effects of foreknowledge on expectations and beliefs (‘discursive performativity’), but also take into account how new models ‘equip’ political, administrative and market actors (‘material performativity’), and how forecasting practices recompose and shape wider policy worlds (‘social performativity’).

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Altenburg, C (2010) Kernenergie und Politikberatung. Die Vermessung einer Kontroverse. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Andersson, J and Rindzevičiūtė, E (eds) (2015) The Struggle for the Long Term in Transnational Science and Politics. Forging the Future. New York, NY: Routledge.

Angeletti, T (2011) Faire la réalité ou s'y faire ? La modélisation et les déplacements de la politique économique au tournant des années 1970. Politix 2011/3(95): 47-72.
https://doi.org/10.3917/pox.095.0047

Austin, JL (1962) How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Aykut, SC (2015) Energy futures from the social market economy to the Energiewende: The politicization of West German energy debates, 1950-1990. In: Andersson, J and Rindzevičiūtė, E (eds) The Struggle for the Long Term in Transnational Science and Politics: Forging the Future. London: Routledge, pp.63-91.

Barnes, B (1983) Social life as bootstrapped induction. Sociology 17(4): 524-545.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038583017004004

Baumgartner, T and Midttun, A (1987) The politics of energy forecasting. A comparative Study of Energy Forecasting in Western Europe and North America. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Beck, S (2004) Localizing Global Change in Germany. In: Jasanoff, S and Long-Martello, M (eds) Earthly Politics. Local and Global in Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, pp.173-194.

Beckert, J (2013) Imagined Futures. Fictional Expectations in the Economy. Theory and Society 42(3): 219-240.

Beyer, J (2002) Deutschland AG a.D.: Deutsche Bank, Allianz und das Verflechtungszentrum großer deutscher Unternehmen. MPIfG Working Paper 02/4.

Binswanger, HC, Bonus, H and Timmermann, M (1981) Wirtschaft und Umwelt. Möglichkeiten einer ökologieverträglichen Wirtschaftspolitik. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Bowker, GC (2000) Biodiversity datadiversity. Social Studies of Science 30(5): 643-683.
https://doi.org/10.1177/030631200030005001

Brisset, N (2016) Economics is not always performative: some limits for performativity. Journal of Economic Methodology 23(2): 160-184.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1350178X.2016.1172805

Bundestag (1979) Plenarprotokoll 8/188. Bonn, 28. November 1979. Bonn: Deutscher Bundestag.

Callon, M (ed) (1998) The Laws of the Markets. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Callon, M (2007) What Does It Mean to Say That Economics Is Performative? In: Mackenzie, D, Muniesa, F and Siu, L (eds) Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp.311-357.

Cgp (1983) Énergie. Rapport du Groupe Long-Terme du Commissariat général au Plan. Paris: La Documentation Française.

Château, B (1985) La prévision énergétique en mutation? Revue de l'énergie 36(janvier): 1-11.

Chateauraynaud, F (2013) Des prises sur le futur. Regard analytique sur l'activité visionnaire. In: Bourg, D, Joly, P-B and Kaufmann, A (eds) Du risque à la menace. Penser la catastrophe. Paris: PUF, pp.287-309.

Cochoy, F, Giraudeau, M and Mcfall, L (2010) Performativity, economics and politics: An overview. Journal of Cultural Economy 3(2): 139-146.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2010.494116

Collectif De Bellevue (1976) Projet Alter. Etude d'un avenir énergétique pour la France axé sur le potentiel renouvelable. Esquisse d'un régime à long terme tout solaire. Paris: Syros.

Delanda, M (2006) A new philosophy of society: Assemblage theory and social complexity. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Desrosières, A (1999) La commission et l'équation: une comparaison des Plans français et néerlandais entre 1945 et 1980. Genèses 34: 28-52.
https://doi.org/10.3406/genes.1999.1550

Düngen, H (1993) Zwei Dekaden deutscher Energie- und Umweltpolitik: Leitbilder, Prinzipien und Konzepte. In: Hohensee, J and Salewski, M (eds) Energie-Politik-Geschichte : nationale und internationale Energiepolitik seit 1945. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, pp.35-50.

Edwards, PN (2010) A vast Machine. Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Evrard, A (2013) Contre vents et marées. Politiques des énergies renouvelables en Europe. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

Ford Foundation (1974) A Time to Choose: America's Energy Future. Pensacola, FL: Ballinger Publishing Co.

Guston, DH (2014) Understanding 'anticipatory governance'. Social Studies of Science 44(2): 218-242.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312713508669

Hecht, G (1998) The radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Henriksen, LF (2013) Economic models as devices of policy change: Policy paradigms, paradigm shift, and performativity. Regulation & Governance 7(4): 481-495.
https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12031

Herbst, A, Toro, F, Reitze, F and Jochem, E (2012) Introduction to Energy System Modelling. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics 148(2): 111-135.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399363

Herzig, T (1992) Wirtschaftsgeschichtliche Aspekte der deutschen Elektrizitätsversorgung 1880 bis 1990. In: Fischer, W (ed) Die Geschichte der Stromversorgung. Frankfurt am Main: Verlags- und Wirtschaftsgesellschaft der Elektrizitätswerke m.b.H, pp.122-166.

Hoffman, K and Wood, DO (1976) Energy system modeling and forecasting. Annual Review of Energy 1: 423-453.
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.eg.01.110176.002231

Jasanoff, S (2005) Designs on Nature. Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kitschelt, HP (1986) Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies. British Journal of Political Science 16(01): 57-85.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712340000380X

Kleinwächter, K (2007) Das "Eiserne Pentagramm" - Strommarktregulierung in Deutschland. In: Kleinwächter, L (ed) Deutsche Energiepolitik. Potsdam: Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, pp.65-79.

Knelangen, W (2000) Enquete-Kommissionen. In: Andersen, U and Woyke, W (eds) Handwörterbuch des politischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. (4te Auflage). Opladen: Leske+Budrich, pp.157-159.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-322-93232-7_37

Kraus, M (1988) Energieprognosen in der Retrospektive. Analyse von Fehlerursachen der Prognose/Ist-Abweichungen von Energiebedarfsschätzungen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland von 1950 bis 1980. Dissertation. Karlsruhe: Universität Karlsruhe.

Krause, F, Bossel, H and Müller-Reissmann, K-F (1980) Energie-Wende: Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran. Ein Alternativ-Bericht des Öko-Instituts. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.

Krisp, A (2007) Der deutsche Strommarkt in Europa - zwischen Wettbewerb und Klimaschutz. Dissertation. Gießen: Fachbereich Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen.

Lapillonne, B (1978) MEDEE 2: A Model for Long-Term Energy Demand Evaluation. IIASA Research Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA.

Lindberg, LN (ed) (1977) The energy syndrome: Comparing national responses to the energy crisis. Lexington: Lexington Books.

Lovins, AB (1976) Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken. Foreign Affairs 55(Fall): 65-96.
https://doi.org/10.2307/20039628

Lucas, N (1985) Western European energy policies : a comparative study of the influence of institutional structure on technical change. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Mackenzie, D (2006) An Engine, Not a Camera. How Financial Models Shape Markets. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Mackenzie, D (2008) Material markets: How economic agents are constructed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Mackenzie, D, Muniesa, F and Siu, L (eds) (2007) Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mäki, U (2013) Performativity: Saving Austin from MacKenzie. In: Karakostas, V and Dieks, D (eds) EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Heidelberg: Springer, pp.443-453.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01306-0_36

Massé, P (1965) Le Plan ou l'anti-hasard. Paris: Hermann.

Mccann, E and Ward, K (2012) Policy assemblages, mobilities and mutations: toward a multidisciplinary conversation. Political studies review 10(3): 325-332.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-9302.2012.00276.x

Meadowcroft, J (2009) What about the politics? Sustainable development, transition management, and long term energy transitions. Policy Sciences 42(4): 323-340.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11077-009-9097-z

Merton, RK (1948) The Self-fulfilling Prophecy. The Antioch Review 8(2): 198-210.
https://doi.org/10.2307/4609267

Meyer-Abich, KM and Dickler, RA (1982) Energy Issues and Policies in the Federal Republic of Germany. Annual Review of Energy 7: 221-259.
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.eg.07.110182.001253

Miller, D (2002) Turning Callon the right way up. Economy and society 31(2): 218-233.
https://doi.org/10.1080/03085140220123135

Mol, APJ and Jänicke, M (2009) The origins and theoretical foundations of ecological modernisation theory. In: Mol, APJ, Sonnenfeld, DA and Spaargaren, G (eds) The Ecological Modernisation Reader: Environmental Reform in Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge, pp.17-27.

Nelkin, D and Pollak, M (1981) The Atom Besieged. Antinuclear protest in France and Germany. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Nelson, N, Geltzer, A and Hilgartner, S (2008) Introduction: the anticipatory state: making policy-relevant knowledge about the future. Science and Public Policy 35(8): 546-550.
https://doi.org/10.3152/030234208X370648

Pek (1980) Bericht der Enquete-Kommission 'Zukünftige Kernenergie-Politik'. Drucksache 8/2628. Bonn: Deutscher Bundestag.

Pickering, A (1995) The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Polak, LF (1973) The Image of the Future. Amsterdam, London, New York: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.

Porter, TM (1995) Trust in numbers: The pursuit of objectivity in science and public life. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Puiseux, L (1982) Les bifurcations de la politique énergétique française depuis la guerre. Annales : Economies, Sociétés et Civilisations 37(4): 609-620.
https://doi.org/10.3406/ahess.1982.282874

Puiseux, L (1987) The Ups and Downs of Electricity Forecasting in France: Technocratic Elitism. In: Baumgartner, T and Midttun, A (eds) The politics of energy forecasting. A comparative Study of Energy Forecasting in Western Europe and North America. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp.180-210.

Radanne, P (2006) Energies de ton siècle. Des crises à la mutation. Paris: Lignes de repères.

Restier-Melleray, C (1990) Experts et expertise scientifique. Le cas de la France. Revue française de science politique 4: 546-585.
https://doi.org/10.3406/rfsp.1990.394498

Romeiro, F (1994) Energie, économie, environnement. Le cas du secteur de l'électricité en Europe entre passé, présent et futur. Geneva, Paris: Librairie Droz.

Schubert, C (2015) Situating technological and societal futures. Pragmatist engagements with computer simulations and social dynamics. Technology in Society 40: 4-13.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2014.07.003

Seefried, E (2010a) Experten für die Planung? "Zukunftsforscher" als Berater der Bundesregierung 1966-1972/73. Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 50: 109-152.

Seefried, E (2010b) Prognostik zwischen Boom und Krise. Die Prognos AG und ihre Zukunftsprognosen für die Entwicklung der Bundesrepublik in den sechziger und siebziger Jahren. In: Hartmann, H and Vogel, J (eds) Zukunftswissen. Prognosen in Wirtschaft, Politik und Gesellschaft seit 1900. Frankfurt/New York Campus, pp.76-106.

Silvast, A (2017) Energy, economics, and performativity: Reviewing theoretical advances in social studies of markets and energy. Energy Research & Social Science 34: 4-12.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.05.005

Simmonot, P (1978) Les nucléocrates. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.

Stier, B (1999) Staat und Strom - Die politische Steuerung des Elektrizitätssystems in Deutschland 1890 - 1950. Mannheim: Verlag Regionalkultur.

Szarka, J (2002) The shaping of environmental policy in France. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Thévenot, L (1984) Rules and implement: investment in forms. Social Science Information 23(1): 1-45.
https://doi.org/10.1177/053901884023001001

Thompson, M (1984) Among the Energy Tribes: A Cultural Framework for the Analysis and Design of Energy Policy. Policy Sciences 17(3): 321-339.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00138710

Topçu, S (2006) Nucléaire: de l'engagement "savant" aux contre-expertises associatives. Natures, Sciences, Sociétés 14: 249-256.
https://doi.org/10.1051/nss:2006037

Topçu, S (2013) La France nucléaire. L'art de gouverner une technologie contestée. Paris: Seuil.

Unruh, GC (2000) Understanding carbon lock-in. Energy Policy 28(12): 817-830.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00070-7

Van Lente, H and Rip, A (1998) Expectations in Technological Developments: An Example of Prospective Structures to be Filled in by Agency. In: Disco, C and Van Der Meulen, B (eds) Getting New Technologies Together: Studies in Making Sociotechnical Order. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp.202-230.
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110810721.203

Varoufakis, Y (2017) Adults in the Room. My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment. London: The Bodley Head.

Weidner, H and Mez, L (2008) German Climate Change Policy: A Success Story With Some Flaws. The Journal of Environment & Development 17(4): 356-378.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1070496508325910

Wessels, T (1962) Die Energie-Enquete : Ergebnisse und wirtschaftspolitische Konsequenzen. Tagungsberichte des Energiewirtschaftlichen Instituts an der Universität Köln, Heft 12. München: Verlag R. Oldenbourg.

Wieviorka, M and Trinh, S (1991) Le modèle EDF: essai de sociologie des organisations. Paris: La Découverte.

Wynne, B (1984) The institutional context of science, models, and policy: the IIASA energy study. Policy Sciences 17(3): 277-320.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00138709

Yon, G (2014) L'économicité d'EDF. La politique tarifaire d'Électricité de France et la reconstruction de l'économie nationale, de la nationalisation au milieu des années 1960. Politix 2014/1(105): 91-115.
https://doi.org/10.3917/pox.105.0091
Published
2019-12-13