Comparative Energy Discourse Project (CEDP)
October 2014-March 2018

  • Introduction
    (Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki, Principal Researcher)


The Comparative Energy Discourse Project (CEDP) was a three-and-a-half-year contract-research project funded through the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) under its Topic-Setting Program to Advance Cutting-Edge Humanities and Social Science Research, Area Cultivation (Grant No. AAD26048). Our project’s overall aim was to investigate the differences between German and Japanese energy policy (including nuclear energy policy) in the post-Fukushima era since 2011. The project announcement on the JSPS website is available at https://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-kadai/ryoiki/index.html


The CEDP’s website is available at https://energydiscourseproject.wordpress.com/

The project commenced on October 1, 2014 and officially concluded on March 31, 2018.

The CEDP’s aims included:

(1) Investigating the nature of energy policy;
(2) Analyzing how energy policy is discussed in different media formats; and
(3) Describing the policy relationships and networks in different countries through cross-national comparisons such as Germany and Japan.

In addition to our main research aim, our research objectives also included clarifying the background pertaining to the differences between German and Japanese energy policy, including nuclear energy policy. We examined how factors in the policy process (discourse, attitudes, relationships, and evaluation) are depicted through survey research, mass media, on the Internet via websites and social media, and through governmental and legislative processes such as consultative committees. The project used an integrated approach combining social science perspectives through social surveys, web data analysis, and fieldwork to create a causal inference model to evaluate the policy process.


The GEPON II (Germany) 2016 Survey was a major part of our research project. It was based on the original GEPON (Global Environmental Policy Network) Survey conducted in 1997-98 in Japan by Professor Yutaka Tsujinaka (who is also a member of the CEDP project), as well as Germany in 1997-99 (research team coordinated by Gesine Foljanty-Jost, Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle Wittenberg). In addition to these two original surveys, the GEPON II (Japan) Survey was undertaken in 2012-13.

The GEPON II (Germany) Survey (November 2016 to February 2017) has yielded essential comparative results, particular in the light of post-Fukushima energy policy debates and processes. This survey data is essential for understanding new attitudes towards energy policy in Germany. At present, we are still compiling and analyzing the results, however, we are confident that they will allow us to map new models of the policy process that combine traditional survey data with mass media and Internet-based data on both a national and cross-national basis. The environment, governance, and public policy choices are topics that are socially important. By targeting our research to these areas with a comparison between Japan and Germany, we will strive to contribute to uncovering the similarities and differences between the two countries. Through close cooperation with our German researchers, including the Freie Universität Berlin, we also seek to contribute to strengthening institutional cooperation and research collaboration between Japanese universities and the German academic community.

List of CEDP Project Academic Papers and Presentations

Academic Papers and Book Chapters


Research Reports

  • Tkach-Kawasaki, L., & Hartwig, M. (2017). Comparative Energy Policy and Discourse in Japan and Germany: Research Results Compilation. Tsukuba: ICR (Institute for Comparative Research in Human and Social Sciences).
  • Tkach-Kawasaki, L., Lee, J., Hartwig, M., & Choe, J.-Y. (2017). Global Environmental Policy Network Survey, Germany (G-GEPON 2), November 2016 to February 2017, Code Book. Tsukuba: ICR (Institute for Comparative Research in Humanities and Social Sciences .



  • Hartwig, M., Kobashi, Y., Okura, S., & Tkach-Kawasaki, L. (2013). Energy policy participation through networks transcending cleavage: an analysis of Japanese and German renewable energy promotion policies. DISC, Daegu, South Korea.
  • Okura, S., Tkach-Kawasaki, L., Kobashi, Y., Hartwig, M., & Tsujinaka, Y. (2015). Analysis of the Policy Network for the ‘Feed-in Tariff Law’ in Japan: Evidence from the GEPON Survey. DISC, Daegu, South Korea.
  • Hartwig, M. (2016). Communication about climate change during COP21 on Twitter in Germany and Japan. Implications for the cultural representation of the environment. DISC, Daegu, South Korea.
  • Hartwig, M. (2016). Post 2015 Paris Climate Conference Politics on the Internet. Social media strategies of political institutions on the environment in Germany and Japan. CeDEM Asia, Daegu, South Korea.
  • Tkach-Kawasaki, L., Hartwig, M., & Lee, J. (2017). Networks of Policy Change and Continuance: Mapping the Post-Fukushima Energy and Environmental Policy Networks in Germany. XXXVII Sunbelt Conference, Beijing, China.
  • Tkach-Kawasaki, L., Hartwig, M., & Lee, J. (2019). Comparing Energy Discourses in Germany and Japan. Select Findings from the Comparative Energy Discourse Project (2014-2018). Spring Campus 2019 Re:search. Re:act. Re:define. The Future is Now: Driving Sustainable Development, Berlin, Germany. https://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/spring-campus/041_Documentation/Spring-Campus-Conference-2019/04_WS-II-Social-Networks/Presentations/Tkach-Kawasaki_Hartwig190402-CEDP—UAS-Spring-Campus.pdf
  • Lee, Junku. (2016, December). Social network analysis of the influence of participation in the international environmental regime: The Twitter network of participating NGOs in Germany, Japan and Republic of Korea in COP21. Paper presented at the DISC 2016/4th WATEF International Conference (World Association for Triple Helix & Future Strategy Studies), Daegu, South Korea.
  • Lee, J., Tkach-Kawasaki, L., & Hartwig, M. (2017, June). A comparative study of environmental policy actor networks in Japan and Germany. Paper presented at the XXXVII Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA), Beijing, China.
  • Lee, Junku., (2018, June). A Comparative Study of Environmental Policy Networks
    in Germany and Japan
    . Paper presented at the XXXVIII Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA), Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Lee, J., Tkach-Kawasaki, L., & Hartwig, M. (2018, July). Comparative Analysis of Relationship Between Resource Sharing Network and Information Sharing Network in Environmental Policy Network in Germany and Japan. Paper presented at the #DISC2018 endorsed by INSNA: International Network for Social Network Analysis, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Lee, J., & Tkach-Kawasaki, L. (2019, June). Networked Consensus Building in Governance: Comparing German and Japanese Environmental Policymaking. Paper presented at the XXXIX Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA), Montréal, Canada.


Poster Presentation