Comparative Energy Discourse Project (CEDP)
October 2014-September 2017

  • Introduction
    (Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki, Principal Researcher)


The Comparative Energy Discourse Project (CEDP) is a three-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 is 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 project commenced on October 1, 2014 and will continue until September 30, 2017.


The CEDP’s aims are to:

(1) Investigate the nature of energy policy;
(2) Analyze how energy policy is discussed in different media formats; and
(3) Describe 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 include clarifying the background pertaining to the differences between German and Japanese energy policy, including nuclear energy policy. We will achieve this by examining 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 uses 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 is a major part of our research project. It builds 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.


We anticipate that the results from the GEPON II (Germany) Survey, currently being conducted in the fall of 2016, will yield essential comparative results, particular in the light of post-Fukushima energy policy debates and processes. The GEPON II (Germany) Survey data is essential for understanding new attitudes towards energy policy in Germany. The results 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 Free University of 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