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Title: The political economy of environmental technological change with a case study of the power sector in Vietnam
Author: Sawdon, John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 8323
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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The escalating imperative of climate change mitigation implies a substantial change in the technologies of electricity generation and supply in industrialised and industrialising countries alike. Understanding how to effect this technological change is therefore imperative if the challenge of climate change is to be addressed. The literature is replete with technology and policy studies investigating technologies, policy instruments and processes of technological change, however, surprisingly little research has addressed the broader political economy context within which any technological change will need to be realised. This research investigates linkages between the sort of systematic environmental technological change implied by the imperative of climate change mitigation and the broader political economy context. Firstly, considering evolutionary economics approaches to understanding technological change, we argue that evolutionary micro-foundations lend themselves to an analysis of political economy processes. Moreover, it is a direct consequence of evolutionary microfoundations that technological change, and particularly that linked with structural change in an economy, is likely to have important political economy implications. Secondly, we show how heterodox approaches to understanding structural change and development in economic systems are consistent with evolutionary micro-foundations and allow the development of an analytical framework based upon an understanding of the process of economic rent creation and preservation. Thirdly, we apply these insights to a critical reconstruction of the evidence on the development of the electricity services industry (ESI), illustrating the importance of political economy considerations in understanding technological and institutional change in that sector. Finally, we apply these insights to a detailed case study of the ESI in Vietnam, investigating the ways in which political economy factors have influenced the broader development of the sector, and examining how the choice of specific technologies is likely to be affected by political economy of the sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available