Call for papers

International workshop and special issue on
Climate and Energy Governance and the Future of Europe

Key dates:

  • Deadline for abstracts: 28 February 2019
  • Decisions: 15 March 2019
  • Full papers due: 31 July 2019
  • Author workshop: September 2019
  • Expected publication: 2020

The GOVTRAN project invites paper proposals linking recent advances in European Union (EU) climate and energy governance and policy to broader contemporary aspects and challenges of European integration.

Drawing on political science and closely related perspectives, authors should explore the impacts of EU climate and energy governance on the Union’s capacity to cope with fundamental current and future challenges and/or, conversely, the implications of the current ‘EU crisis conglomerate’ (cf. Falkner 2016) for EU climate governance and policy. The most suitable paper proposals will be selected for presentation of full draft papers at an international workshop in Italy (travel costs reimbursable). We are working towards publication of the final papers in a special issue of a high-profile, peer-reviewed academic journal.

Climate and energy governance is a key component of the EU and its long-term future. Unlike other important EU policies, such as monetary and migration policy, EU climate and energy policies have advanced significantly in recent years. In 2018, the EU finalised the Climate and Energy Policy Framework for 2030. Consisting of legislation on a wide range of issues, including emissions trading, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and governance of the Energy Union, the 2030 Framework aims at reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40%, as well as increases in the share of renewable energy (to 32%) and in energy efficiency (by 32.5%). However, the 2015 UN Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2/1.5°C implies that the EU will have to take additional measures to achieve the necessary society-wide transitions across many policy areas, including electricity generation, industry, transport, buildings and agriculture. Consequently, the European Commission has kickstarted the discussion on a 2050 long-term climate strategy towards achieving climate neutrality.

The necessary transformations will have to be delivered in the context of significant turbulence within the EU and globally. After more than a decade of major crises, the future of the Union seems increasingly precarious as several more general, long-term economic, social and political trends have converged. Relevant developments include the crisis of the post-war international order as well as of liberal democracy and representation; the rise of ‘post-truth politics’, nationalism and ‘culture wars’; and growing economic insecurity and inequality. High-level political responses to the EU ‘crisis conglomerate’ – including French President Emmanuel Macron’s Sorbonne speech and the EU’s ‘Future of Europe’ process – have so far yielded few, if any, concrete results.

We invite papers examining recent developments in EU climate and energy governance and policy in the context of the challenges and opportunities raised by the EU ‘crisis conglomerate’. We are particularly interested in exploring five main underlying factors: implications of geo-political power shifts, growing challenges of democratic legitimacy and accountability, declining national problem-solving capacity, increasing divisions within and among nation-states/EU Member States, and changing parameters of political discourse in times of social and privatized mass media.

Against this background, authors should seek to address questions such as:

  • How do the EU ‘crisis conglomerate’ and the underlying factors affect (specific aspects of) EU climate and energy governance/policy, and vice versa? What are the key mechanisms and causal pathways of the interaction?
  • What are the results of the interaction? In particular, does EU climate and energy governance support or undermine wider EU governance in light of the ‘crisis conglomerate’/underlying factors? Similarly, do specific aspects of wider EU governance enhance or undermine EU climate and energy governance (either directly or through affecting the underlying factors)?
  • Which lessons can be drawn from the recent evolution of European climate and energy governance for other sectoral or more general EU reform efforts and proposals?

Contributions could focus on a broad range of issues, including:

  • The interaction of EU climate and energy governance with different manifestations and driving forces of the European ‘crisis conglomerate’, including the implications of the Brexit vote; the rise of nationalism, populism, euro-skepticism; trends towards ‘illiberal democracy’; and others.
  • How EU climate and energy governance relates to particular reform proposals for the EU, for example for more differentiated EU integration; stronger centralization of European decision-making; strengthening democratic governance at the EU level, etc.
  • How wider EU governance interacts with specific aspects of EU climate and energy policy, such as the EU adaptation strategy, long-term target-setting and planning, cross-policy integration, etc.
  • How EU climate and energy governance relates to its external environment, including external interference in processes of opinion-formation and decision-making within the EU, implications for the international and global role of the EU/external EU policy, external perceptions of the EU, etc.

Ex-post analyses as well as more normative approaches drawing lessons for the future of the EU and EU climate and energy governance are welcome.

Should you wish to submit a paper, please send an abstract (300-400 words), the title of the paper proposal, author information and contact details of the corresponding author to by 28 February 2019.

We intend to inform authors within two weeks of this deadline.

A 2-day workshop for contributing authors (including a keynote by a senior policy-maker) is provisionally scheduled to be held in Rome or Florence in September 2019 (date and location to be confirmed). Reasonable travel costs are covered. As stated above, we aim to publish the final papers in a special issue of a high-profile, peer reviewed academic journal.

Note: If you wish your paper proposal to also be considered for the panel on ‘EU climate and energy policy and the Future of Europe’ at the ECPR General Conference (Wroclaw, 4-7 September 2019, Section 16 on ‘Energy Transitions in Europe: On the Crossroads of Changing Political and Socio-Technological Paradigms’), please indicate your interest before 18 February 2019.

This call for papers forms part of the Jean Monnet Network ‘Governing the EU’s Climate and Energy Transition in Turbulent Times’ (GOVTRAN) pursued with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

PDF version of the call here

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