skip to content

Faculty of Economics

CWPE Cover

Pollitt, M.

In Search of 'Good' Energy Policy: The Social Limits to Technological Solutions to Energy and Climate Problems


Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the nature of ‘Good’ Energy Policy by offering a multi-disciplinary social science and humanities perspective on policy making. The objective in doing this is to understand how to get from where we are today to a ‘better’ energy policy. We begin by discussing what we mean by ‘policy’. We then go on to characterise and challenge the technologists’ approach to energy policy. Next we discuss some key intellectual starting points that explain why policy making in this area is so difficult. We then turn to a set of multi-disciplinary social science and humanities perspectives on energy policy that together form promising areas for research. These are: perception; quantification; well-being; public trust; role of the state; competence and hubris in delivery; and parallels with healthcare. We close by discussing how these perspectives can illuminate whether a policy is ‘good’, ‘bad’ or something in between.

Keywords: energy policy, mult-discipinary, perspective

JEL Codes: H54 L98

Author links: Michael Pollitt  


EPRG Paper Link: 1520

Open Access Link: