Nuclear energy is a controversial technological issue with a long history. It is also a politically charged topic with outspoken proponents and opponents doggedly trying to convince others of their opinion. However, despite the prominent role of nuclear energy in the Belgian energy mix, comparatively little political research has been done on Belgian public opinion on nuclear energy. In this doctoral research, we therefore focus on public opinion about nuclear energy in Belgium. How does the public form its opinion on this issue and (how) are they guided by political actors? Furthermore, we also look at the influence of the political context. For example, we study how the Fukushima nuclear accident affected public opinion on nuclear energy and compare it to that of a regular period. One of the central findings of our study is that public opinion about nuclear energy is significantly constructed by political actors, in particular by certain political parties. Based on the cues they provide to their constituents, political parties influence how the public thinks about nuclear energy.
|Date of Award||21 Oct 2022|
|State||Published - 21 Oct 2022|