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Policy-driven, narrative-based evidence-gathering: UK priorities for decarbonisation through biomass

Levidow, Les and Papaioannou, Theo (2016). Policy-driven, narrative-based evidence-gathering: UK priorities for decarbonisation through biomass. Science and Public Policy, 43(1) pp. 46–61.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scv016
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Abstract

Evidence-based policy-making (EBPM) has been a much-debated concept, attracting various theoretical interpretations. This paper builds on those insights for a novel perspective: policy-driven, narrative-based evidence-gathering. In a case study of UK priority-setting for bioenergy innovation, documents and interviews were analysed to identify links between problem-diagnoses, societal visions, policy narratives and evidence-gathering. This process is illuminated by the theoretical concept of socio-technical imaginaries – technoscientific projects which the state should promote for a feasible, desirable future.

Results suggest that evidence has been selectively generated and gathered within a specific future vision, whereby bioenergy largely provides an input-substitute within the incumbent centralised infrastructure; such evidence is attributed to an external expertise, thus helping to legitimise the policy framework. Evidence has helped to substantiate policy commitments to expand bioenergy. An earlier policy vision for decentralised bioenergy has been kept marginal. The dominant narrative has been reinforced by the government’s multi-stakeholder consultation favouring incumbent industry and by incentive structures for industry co-investment.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Authors
ISSN: 0302-3427
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Knowledge production for sustainable bio-energy: an analysis of UK decision processes and priorities. (XD-09-103-LL)RES-062-23-2701ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Knowledge production for sustainable bio-energy: an analysis of UK decision processes and priorities. (XD-09-103-LL)ES/H046321/1ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Keywords: evidence-based policy-making (EBPM); socio-technical imaginary; UK, bioenergy; decarbonisation; decentralisation; anaerobic digestion; biofuels
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 43141
Depositing User: Les Levidow
Date Deposited: 21 May 2015 07:41
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 09:08
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/43141
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