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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Nuclear Energy Governance and the Politics of Social Justice: Technology, Public Goods, and Redistribution in Russia and France


The paper analyzes the political economy of nuclear power in Russia and France from a social justice perspective. While Russia prioritizes national security over environmental safety, France follows the inverse order of policy priorities. Nuclear innovation defines the ability of any state to provide efficiently public goods and implement redistributive policies, based on its nuclear potential. The distinction between hierarchical and multilevel regulation of the nuclear sector in Russia and France is critical for my argument; because hierarchical regulation is less likely to facilitate innovation, emerging nuclear-intensive economies are less inclined to approximate energy-induced redistributive justice. Explaining the four possible outcomes of the French-Russian nuclear cooperation, I maintain a high degree of optimism that technology can serve the needs of the poor without hampering global sustainability, growth and international investment relations.

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