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Title: An institutional approach to understanding the green paradox of nuclear power
Author: Lloyd, Rhiannon
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis proposes that the range of institutional logics provided by both Friedland and Alford (1991) and Thornton, Ocasio and Lounsbury (2012) has overlooked the inclusion of an environmental societal logic. The concept of an environmental logic is therefore developed and applied in order to understand how a ‘green paradox’ surrounding nuclear power emerged over the past sixty years of the UK civil nuclear energy programme. The research employs a Critical Realist ontology (Bhaskar 1975) and constructs a qualitative and historical case study of the nuclear power industry via the analysis of newspaper articles and Government policy documents. The findings show that the green nuclear debate was informed by four ‘situated’ manifestations of an environmental societal logic which informed the environmental values and expectations of different actor groups engaged in the debate. In particular, the thesis shows how a situated target-based environmental logic emerged within the energy industry as a result of embedded institutional work and eventually informed the arguments promoting green nuclear. These arguments remained in contention with those of the environmental movement who maintained that nuclear power was definitively not environmentally friendly. Additionally, the Critical Realist ontology provides a framework with which to explore levels of meaning and structure and thus offers a means to explain this ‘situated’ nature of institutional logics. This thesis contributes to existing institutional theory in three key ways: Firstly it proposes and illustrates the theoretical and analytical utility of an environmental institutional logic. Secondly it develops the concept of a situated logic and, in doing so, builds an improved understanding of the ways in which agency, institutional logics and the institutional structure of industries interconnect. Thirdly it demonstrates and explains how one societal logic may become situated in multiple and possibly contradictory ways depending on the actor groups in which it manifests.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)