Coupling Epistemic and Politico-economic Claims in the Danish Biofuel Debate

Janus Hansen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


    How come the biofuel trajectory continues to be promoted worldwide despite serious concerns about its potentially adverse social and environmental effects? Most explanations rightly consider incumbent economic interests in the global value chains as the key driver. This, however, does not explain in details how a
    controversial technology manifests itself in specific contexts.
    This paper describes a case study on public debates on biofuels in Denmark. Particular emphasis is placed on how epistemic and political claims are coupled in this debate. It shows how two competing scientific perspectives on biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing issue coalitions. One is a ‘bottom-up’ perspective originating in biochemistry,
    which is favoured by biofuel optimists. The other is a ‘top-down’ perspective originating in life cycle analysis, which is favoured by biofuel sceptics. While epistemic perspectives do not determine policy frames exclusively, clear affinities between knowledge production in different scientific disciplines and
    policy positions can be identified in both camps in the debates on biofuels.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventThe 4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012: Design and displacement: Social Studies of Science and Technology - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Duration: 17 Oct 201220 Oct 2012
    Conference number: 2012


    ConferenceThe 4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012
    LocationCopenhagen Business School
    Internet address

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