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Public participation and nuclear power politics

Rudig, Wolfgang (1981) Public participation and nuclear power politics. Politics, 1 (2). pp. 35-42.

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Abstract

The social sciences, like all the sciences, cannot be neutral or stand apart One recent, rather unexpected, problem for Western democracies has been the rapid growth of social movements opposed to civilian nuclear power programmes and installations. Governments have commissioned and paid social scientist to advise on optimal ways of preventing the anti-nuclear opposition from delaying or halting the implementation of nuclear power programmes. In international terms Britain came late to the nuclear power debate, which remains muted and under-developed. So it is not surprising that British social scientists have only recently become involved as policy advisors on nuclear power. It is worthwhile looking a t the experience o f West Germany, where the nuclear power issue was politicized much earlier, to see how this policy advisor role can develop. After this I return t o Britain and examine in detail proposals for 'improving' public participation on nuclear issues put forward by Pearce, Edwards and Beuret (1979) in their recent book Decision Making f o r Energy Futures.