(Non-) Alternative energy transitions: Examining neoliberal rationality in official nuclear energy discourses of Russia and Poland
(2018) Energy Research and Social Science, 41, pp. 128-135.
Neoliberal trends are a part of the sociopolitical contexts that shape present-day energy transitions. Economic arguments extensively used in nuclear energy discourses regarding the Nuclear Renaissance period may indicate that neoliberal trends have penetrated discussions about energy transitions. This article examines the presence of neoliberal rationality in the official nuclear energy discourses coming from Russia and Poland. These countries are interesting in respect to their relatively recent changes towards a market economy. Neoliberal rationality is defined in the article as the combination of market rationality, limited role of state, political consensus, governance structures and securitization, following Foucault and Brown. Discourse analysis of the energy policies and speeches of politicians that contain statements about nuclear energy development is carried out. The analysis confirms the significant presence of these themes in nuclear energy discourses as well as discourses reflecting the specificities of the two countries. The combination of the defining features of neoliberal rationality in official nuclear energy discourses seem to leave limited space for challenging nuclear energy development and discussing alternative energy transitions. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
Energy transition; Market rationality; Neoliberalism; Nuclear energy