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The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Western Europe$
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Wolfgang C. Müller and Paul W. Thurner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747031.001.0001

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Understanding Policy Reversals and Policy Stability

Understanding Policy Reversals and Policy Stability

(p.21) 2 Understanding Policy Reversals and Policy Stability
The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Western Europe
Wolfgang C. Müller, Paul W. Thurner
Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses structural, institutional, and situational factors that exercise influence on nuclear energy policy decisions. It reviews the respective literatures and introduces the dependent variable, i.e. nuclear energy policy reversals. Building in particular on the work of Kitschelt (1986) and Midttun and Rucht (1994), the chapter then discusses the explanatory variables that potentially drive such changes: anti-nuclear movements, public opinion, the systems’ electoral and federal openness, political parties’ vote-seeking, principled ideological goals, or office-seeking, new policy challenges in terms of energy policy and climate change concerns, nuclear accidents, and path dependence due to the countries investment in nuclear energy. Hypotheses are formulated for how these factors impact nuclear energy policy-making.

Keywords:   dependent variable, hypotheses, explanatory variables, policy reversals, research question

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