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Presentation The Discursive Construction of Sustainable Biofuels in Germany and the EU

Conference: 7th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Understanding the Drama of Democracy. Policy Work, Power and Transformation.
05.07.12 - 07.07.12, Tilburg, NL

Until the mid-2000s, biofuels were widely recognized as being inherently sustainable. However, due to mounting criticism, the discursive battle field of biofuels policy was reopened. In this paper, the political struggle about the meaning of sustainability in the case of biofuels in Germany and the EU is analyzed. Four different narratives of a sustainable biofuel are identified. Furthermore, their impact on the policy decision on biofuels sustainability in the EU is analyzed, thereby shedding light on the worldviews this policy instrument represents. This shows that, while aspects of all of these narratives are incorporated into this policy decision, some of these are overrepresented (e.g. ecological modernization) while others are more or less excluded (radical civic environmentalism).