Energy Policy

Reading Assignment


Nemet et al. (2016) explore the pitfalls of our historically shortsighted policy responses to energy crises and proposes a different model for approaching our energy challenges which are so longitudinal in scale and scope while Rashidi et al. (2018) try to identify what role network membership has on local scale climate action. 

Reading Assignment (Penn State login required)*

  • Nemet, Gregory F., Arnulf Grubler, and Daniel M. Kammen. 2016. Countercyclical energy and climate policy for the U.S. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 7 (1): 5-12.
  • Tosun, J. (2018). Diffusion: An Outcome of and an Opportunity for Polycentric Activity? In A. Jordan, D. Huitema, H. Van Asselt, & J. Forster (Eds.), Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action? (pp. 152-168). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108284646.010

Points to Consider While Reading

  • Boom and bust cycles aren't just for energy production, but also for energy policy consideration.
  • How do we get the general populous and our elected officials to work on issues which aren't immediately pressing? How does this relate to the "issue attention cycle?"
  • Is there potential here to develop more meaningful policy? Can you see this being relevant to other policy realms as well?
  • Can we find examples elsewhere in the world of this working successfully for energy policy?
  • What role does policy diffusion play in developing polycentric governance, and vice-versa?
  • Identify internal and external factors that lead to vertical and/or horizontal policy diffusion via invention and innovation. Can you think of any such factors that could lead to more aggressive climate policy in the U.S. on local, state, and/or national levels? Which of these factors is most likely to lead to climate policy change?
  • How did the insufficient international policy response to the Kyoto Protocol influence EU climate policy, and what lessons can be learned/applied in a U.S. context?

*Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments, all readings, and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about registering for this Penn State course is available through the ESP Program Office.