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Emi Ichiyanagi is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies of Kyoto University in Japan, where she works on her Ph.D. research project in cooperation with the Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy of the Technical University of Munich. Her research interest lies in deliberative democracy and citizen participation, in particular in the context of energy policy-making processes in Germany and Japan. For her dissertation, she conducted a research stay at the Technical University of Munich with the support of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). She holds an M.A. degree in Public and Private Environmental Management from the Free University of Berlin with a focus on environmental policy and environmental law. In her master thesis, she did a comparative analysis of the role of the media in energy policy-making in Germany and Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. She has been engaged in international research projects on German and Japanese energy transition policies, first as a researcher at the Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo and later at the Nagoya University in Japan.
“Citizens and Experts in Energy Transition Policy Making in Germany and Japan”
After the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants in 2011, Germany and Japan made different political decisions. Germany decided a nuclear phase-out until 2022 and is well into an “energy transition”. Indeed, Japan also experienced a slight change in energy policy by the introduction of the feed-in tariff for renewable energies in 2012, but it decided to retain a share of 20 to 22% nuclear power in its power mix by 2030. However, both in Germany and Japan, the majority of public opinions support the energy transition. How can we account for the differences in political decisions despite the similarities of public opinions in the two countries?
The dissertation analyzes the roles of citizens and experts in the political decision-making processes of the energy transition in Germany and Japan after “Fukushima” in 2011. A particular focus is laid on the innovative forms of citizen participation such as deliberative mini-publics that involve randomly selected citizens into the national energy policy-making processes. Empirical case studies comprise the National Accompanying Committee (Nationales Begleitgremium: NBG) in Germany and the Deliberative Polling (torongata yoron chosa) in Japan.
How does randomly selected citizens’ participation in these deliberation forums influence energy policy-making processes? How are public opinions reflected through the deliberative forums into decision-making processes of energy policy after the Fukushima nuclear disaster? In order to answer these questions, semi-structured interviews and data collection are conducted through field researches in Germany and Japan. With the collected documents and audio data, qualitative content analysis will be carried out.
The dissertation aims to investigate what kinds of approaches of participatory governance and citizen-expert relationship conduce to deliberative and democratic decision-making processes. German and Japanese case studies from the comparative perspective will empirically contribute to examining if and why active participation of citizens and experts is relevant in order to enhance transparency and acceptance in energy transition policy-making. A theoretical contribution of this study is a deepen classification of deliberative mini-publics and citizen participation.
The dissertation is supervised by Prof. Makoto Usami at the Kyoto University in cooperation with Prof. Miranda Schreurs at the Technical University of Munich.