Energy Governance in France: A nuclearized socio-technical regime ‘in transition’?

Pierre Bocquillon, Aurélien Evrard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


French energy governance is the embodiment of a stable and closed policy subsystem. It is characterized by large-scale centralized infrastructures, the singular dominance of nuclear energy, and historically controlled by a technocratic network of bureaucratic and economic elites. Yet, under the umbrella of the “energy transition,” the country has adopted a series of new targets, strategies, and legislation to increase the share of renewables, energy savings, and reduce GHG emissions. In addition, it has engaged in the twin endeavours of “democratizing” the decision-making process and “decentralizing” energy and climate action. Yet, despite ambitious rhetoric and noticeable new initiatives, French energy governance remains at a crossroad. While emerging dynamics, from the consolidation of a coalition of green actors, to the politicization of energy debates, and to the activism of local authorities, points to incremental change, powerful veto players and sources of path dependence remain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Energy Governance in Europe
EditorsMichèle Knodt, Jörg Kemmerzell
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-73526-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-73526-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022


  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Energy transition
  • France
  • Governance
  • Nuclear
  • Policies
  • Policy-making
  • Public participation

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