Inderscience Publishers

Power failures: metagoverning a revival of nuclear power in Britain

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The British Government is attempting, through metagovernance, to encourage a transition to a low carbon electricity generation industry by promoting a revival of nuclear power. This paper considers the barriers that the British Government might encounter by analysing its metagovernance efforts within the context of a dynamic, co-evolving socio-technical regime. It is shown that the British Government's attempts to metagovern a transition to nuclear power are likely to fail. This is because the British Government has failed to secure the support of a number of important stakeholders, is pursuing an unrealistic policy, is subject to critical dependencies, and cannot easily exercise authority over a complex network. The paper concludes by arguing that these failures are due to the British Government's inability to understand the process by which transitions occur.

Keywords: electricity system, metagovernance, multi-level perspective, MLP, nuclear power, strategic niche management, SNM, sustainability, transitions, transition management, UK, United Kingdom, sustainable development, nuclear energy, low carbon economy, transition governance

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