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Benoit GRANIER

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PhD in political science, I defended my thesis, entitled "Transnational circulations and policy change. The mobilisation of behavioural sciences in Japan’s energy policy (2010-2016)", under the supervision of Prof. Yveline LECLER, in June 2017. After graduation from Sciences Po Lyon, I had been conducting my research within the Lyon’s Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO) from 2012 to 2017. I held a doctoral contract from Lyon University from 2012 to 2015 and worked as Assistant Professor at Sciences Po Lyon from 2015 to 2017. I also benefited from the financial support of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and of Lyon University for doing field work in Japan (3 months in 2013 and 8 months in 2014).

Title and Institutional affiliation


PhD
Associate researcher (IAO)
Visiting researcher (DEMAND Centre, Lancaster University)
Disciplinary field


Political science, sociology, Japanese studies
Research areas


Public policy analysis, sociology of public action, behaviour change policies, social experiment and evaluation of public policy, energy and environmental policy, smart city, smart grid, citizen participation, citizen participation, social acceptance
Research projects


Thesis summary: In recent years, changing individual behaviours has become a key issue for public policy, which has been mobilising new bodies of knowledge, namely behavioural sciences. These are explicitly and increasingly used in Japan’s energy policy in order to lower household energy consumption, in the context of both the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the liberalisation of the energy markets. My dissertation investigate the explanatory factors and the implementation of this significant change in a policy domain which was so far marked by a techno-economic approach paying little attention to behavioural issues. Drawing on theoretical and methodological perspectives from public policy analysis and policy transfer studies, I analyse the genesis and the implementation of two large-scale programs: first, the smart grid social experiments named Smart Communities; second, the Opower’s Home Energy Reports pilot study. Building on about eighty semi-structured interviews and on a wide variety of written sources, I emphasise the major role played by transnational circulations in the design and the implementation of these programs, and more broadly in Japan’s energy policy.

I argue that the mobilisation of behavioural sciences in Japan’s energy policy results from manifolds factors which question the opposition between the endogenous and exogenous nature of policy change, as well as the distinction between domestic and extranational factors. Indeed, the use of this body of knowledge can be explained by the strategies of a few stakeholders who achieved to introduce new policy ideas and tools coming from abroad, in response to issues faced by the Japanese Government. Through a micro-sociological analysis of their strategies, I suggest to endogenize the explanation of policy change while integrating exogenous factors and extranational dynamics. The mobilisation of behavioural sciences in Japan’s energy policy results inseparably from the expansion of this body of knowledge in academia and in public policy in the US and in Europe; from the strategies of transnational, Japanese and American stakeholders; and from the stringency of climate and energy problems in Japan. The US plays a central role in the transnational circulation of behavourial sciences in the energy field, which can be explained by the “practical” and “consensual” dimension of these sciences.
Curriculum Vitae


List of publications


Languages


French, English, Japanese
Contact