Ideology and Expediency in British Energy Policy

  • Francis McGowan
Part of the Energy Economics and Policy book series (ENER, volume 1)

Abstract

Energy policy in the UK has undergone some dramatic changes over the last fifteen years. More so than any other European country, the government has adopted the rhetoric of promoting market forces over state intervention in the energy sector and has followed this up in policy terms with significant initiatives in the fields of privatisation and liberalisation. The changes have been such as to lead some to allege that the UK no longer has an “energy policy” and that short-termist myopia has replaced the longer term strategic vision which characterised UK energy policy in the past (and which arguably persists in other countries). However, while the changes of the last decade and a half have been substantial, they should not be regarded as demonstrating an unequivocal commitment to the market or as marking a disengagement from political intervention and interference. While the government gives much greater emphasis to considerations of efficiency - as a result of its ideological preoccupation with the market - there is some evidence that expediency or pragmatism has often prevailed in the shaping of policies. If policy is myopic it stems as much from short term political calculations as from the market-place.

Keywords

Dioxide Petroleum Rubber Marketing Stake 

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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis McGowan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of European StudiesUniversity of SussexFalmer, East SussexUK

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