Energy depoliticisation in the UK: Destroying political capacity
By: Caroline Kuzemko
Published in: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations Vol 18, Issue 1, 2016
Available online: 16th April 2016
- Provides new insights into depoliticisation literatures by applying depoliticisation beyond economic and monetary policy to energy and climate change policy.
- Demonstrates ways in which forms of depoliticisation can affect political capacity to respond to new policy challenges.
- Challenges climate change and energy transition literatures by explaining how and why UK energy policy institutions have constrained innovation and sustainable change.
Depoliticisation, as a concept, has been utilised to explain specific aspects of economic governance as it has developed over the past thirty years, particularly in certain OECD countries. This article focuses on the outcomes of three forms of depoliticisation, marketised, technocratic and nondeliberative, for political capacity. Political capacity is defined in relation to a notion of politics as social interaction, deliberation, choice and agency. Using UK energy governance as a case study it claims that the depoliticisation of energy policy has resulted in embedded corporate power, a
widening disjuncture between experts and majoritarian institutions and limited knowledge structures. As a result the state’s role is still confined to giver of market signals and to temporary
interventions in the face of complex and unprecedented commitments to transition the UK towards a low carbon future
The full paper can be accessed via: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (Open Access)