Value Change, Value Conflict, and Policy Innovation: Understanding the Opposition to the Market-Based Economic Dispatch of Electricity Scheme in India Using the Multiple Streams Framework

N. Goyal, K.K. Iychettira

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Abstract

As policy innovation is essential for upscaling responsible innovation, understanding its relationship to value change(s) occurring or sought in sociotechnical systems is imperative. In this study, we ask: what are the different types of values in the policy process? And, how does value change influence policy innovation? We propose a disaggregation of values and value change based on a four-stream variant of the multiple streams framework (MSF), a conceptual lens increasingly used for explaining policy innovation in sociotechnical transitions. Specifically, we posit that the values that ‘govern’ problem framing, policy design, political decision making, and technological diffusion can evolve relatively independently, potentially leading to value conflict. We apply this framework to the ongoing case of the market-based economic dispatch of electricity (MBED) policy in the Indian energy transition using content analysis. We find that the MBED scheme—with its emphasis on efficiency (problem), economic principles (policy), low-cost dispatch (technology), and centralization (politics)—attempts value change in each stream. Each instance of value change is, however, widely contested, with the ensuing value conflicts resulting in significant opposition to this policy innovation. We conclude that a disaggregation of values based on the MSF can facilitate an analysis of value change and value conflict in sociotechnical transitions and lay the foundation for systematically studying the relationships among technological change, value change, and policy change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Indian energy transition
  • Market-based economic dispatch of electricity (MBED)
  • Multiple streams framework (MSF)
  • Policy innovation
  • Policy process
  • Renewable energy
  • Value change
  • Value conflict

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