This course addresses the role of policy and its underlying politics in the transformation of the energy sector. It covers historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives and applies various theoretical concepts to specific aspects of governing the energy transition. On this basis, students develop their own research project and produce a research paper.
- To gain an overview of the history of the transition of large technical systems - To recognize current challenges in the energy system to understand the theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying transitions - To demonstrate knowledge on the role of policy and politics in energy transitions - To develop own research question and address it in research paper
Climate change, access to energy and other societal challenges are directly linked to the way we use and create energy. Both the recent United Nations Paris climate change agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a fast and extensive transition of the energy system necessary. This course introduces the social and environmental challenges involved in the energy sector and discusses the implications of these challenges for the rate and direction of technical change in the energy sector. It compares the current situation with historical socio-technical transitions and derives the consequences for policy-making. It then introduces theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying innovation and transitions. It then focuses on the role of public policy and policy change in governing the energy transitions, considering the role of political actors, institutions and policy feedback. The course has a highly interactive (seminar-like) character. Students are expected to actively engage in the weekly discussions and to give a presentation (15-20 minutes) on one of the weekly topics during that particular session. In addition to weekly lectures and student presentations, students will write a research paper of approximately 6000 words. The presentation and participation in the discussions will form one part of the final grade (20%), the final exam another (20%), with the research paper forming the rest (60%).
Slides and reading material will be made available via moodle.ethz.ch (only for registered students).
A reading list will be provided via moodle.ethz.ch at the beginning of the semester.
Voraussetzungen / Besonderes
This course is intended for the MA Comparative International Studies programme.
Information zur Leistungskontrolle (gültig bis die Lerneinheit neu gelesen wird)