Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Governing turbulent transitions : the politics of climate change and low-carbon transitions during austerity in the UK, 2006-2016
Author: Gillard, Ross Owain Appleton
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 3333
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Addressing the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing the world. A range of social and technical responses to this challenge have been proposed, which – if successfully mobilised – can limit dangerous climate warming through a transition to a low-carbon and resilient society. The role of the nation state in governing such a large-scale transition is often presumed, but it is in fact highly uncertain. At a time when political and economic trends in Western Europe have made government intervention and investment in climate policies particularly difficult, this thesis offers a timely analysis of the politics of climate change in the UK. Drawing on extensive qualitative data this thesis addresses four questions. First, to what extent do current approaches to describing and prescribing low-carbon transitions adequately address their social and political dimensions? Second, how have the fundamental ideas of climate change politics and economics changed during 2006-2016? Third, what impact have these changes had on climate and energy policy outputs? And finally, where are the governance innovations coming from and what is government’s role in empowering them? Multiple analytical frameworks are used to answer these questions in four distinct, but related, articles. The first article offers a critical review of popular academic and governance approaches to sustainability transitions. The following three articles explore these theoretical claims through empirical analyses of: the fluctuating nature of institutionalised discourses, the rationalisation of renewable energy policy retrenchment, and the ambiguous role of the state in facilitating a more polycentric approach to climate governance. This thesis argues that the complexity of climate change as a political issue is a double-edged sword, which provides opportunities for mobilising multiple sources of agency on the one hand, but which also diffuses responsibility and creates unhelpful trade-offs between various interests and policy goals on the other. It provides new theoretical tools for analysing this paradox, as well as new empirical insights into the UK case study and beyond.
Supervisor: Van Alstine, James ; Paavola, Jouni ; Gouldson, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available