Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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  • 34 The changing role of economics and economists in nuclear policy and politics



Organizers : Francis Chateauraynaud (GSPR, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Markku Lehtonen (GSPR, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and SPRU, University of Sussex, United Kingdom), Ingmar Schumacher (IPAG Business School, France), Eric Strobl  (Ecole Polytechnique Paris, France)
Date : July 6th, from 9am to 6pm
Location : IPAG Business School, 184 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Expected number of participants : 50-100
Nature of participants : experts from the industry, academia and the government
Keywords : nuclear energy
Keynote speakers :
  • Nicolas Boccard, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Girona, Spain
  • Paul Dorfman, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, The Energy Institute, University College London
  • Dominique Finon, Professor of Economics, Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement, CIRED, Paris
  • Laurent Joudon, Director, Strategy Division, EDF, France
  • Gordon MacKerron, Professor of Science and Technology policy, SPRU, University of Sussex, UK
  • Yves Marignac, Director of Wise-Paris (World Information Service on Energy)
  • Patrick Momal, former economist at the IRSN (French technical safety organisation in nuclear matters), and World Bank
  • William Nuttall, Professor of Energy, The Open University, UK
  • Thomas Reverdy, Associate Professor of Sociology, The Industrial Engineering & Management School at Grenoble Institute of Technology

Registration: Attendance is free but registration is required by the 29th of June 2015. Please follow the link ingmar.schumacher@ipag.fr to send an email with the subject line: "Nuclear workshop registration" in order to confirm.



The desirability and viability of nuclear power as an energy source has ever since the beginning of its commercial use been subject to intense controversies and widely varying judgements, depending on the specific perspective from which the merits and downsides of nuclear are assessed. The nature of economic argumentation and its weight in both policymaking and public debate on nuclear has varied across the years – according to economic and political trends – but also across different country-specific contexts.

This one-day workshop intends to bring together experts from the industry, academia and the government in order to present and discuss changes in the substance of economic argumentation on nuclear energy, as well as in the roles of economics and various economic experts in policymaking and political debate. In particular, the workshop will focus on three issues: (a) How does argumentation on the economics of nuclear energy vary across time and space (over time and across countries)? (b) How does the weight and nature of economic arguments in decision-making vary across time and space? (c) Which factors shape the credibility of the different economic arguments and actors that employ economics in their argumentation? The workshop will end with a roundtable discussion designed to result in a white paper.

The presentations at the workshop consist of empirical and theoretical contributions examining the role of economic argumentation in controversies over nuclear power. Examples of relevant topics include the following:
  • the credibility of different policy actors in debating nuclear economics
  • the various ways in which economic ‘experts’ address and seek to persuade the diverse key publics,
  • rivalries between competing economic schools of thought economics: the access of these schools of thought to public debate, and the credibility of different schools of thought in the eyes of the varying publics
  • the various ways in which the credibility of economic experts is constructed and contested;
  • the role of country-specific idiosyncrasies, “technopolitical cultures”, “technopolitical regimes”, “socio-technical imaginaries” or “state orientations” in shaping and being shaped by economic argumentation; and
  • any other question that engages with the broad theme of “the role of economics in nuclear policy controversies”

More information

You will find more information on this side event on the file.
Contact : Ingmar Schumacher,