Go to Home Page
  Educators Course Syllabi Energy, Rochlin- Politics of Energy

Advanced Topics in the Politics of Energy-
Energy and Resources 251

UC Berkeley, Professor Rochlin
Fall 1997

Printer Friendly

The "required" text for the course is Robert Pool, Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997.

I 8/26-28 Introduction to the course and the material

A brief introduction, and some technical stuff. Please go to the web site and look around.

II 9/2-4 The Bomb, Dread and Eternity

Tues 9/2: Video: The Day After Trinity: Thurs 9/4: Discussion


  • Michael Mandelbaum, "The Bomb, Dread, and Eternity," International Security 5, No. 2 (Fall 1980), 3-23.
    III 9/9-11


The Dawn of Nuclear Power. U.S.Reactors and Civil/Military relations

Atoms for Peace, the Power Reactor Demo Program, submarine reactors...


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, 17-44, 53-84.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech before the United Nations General Assembly, 8 December 1953 (the "Atoms for Peace" speech).
  • John D. Hogerton, "The Arrival of Nuclear Power," Scientific American, February 1968.
In the ERG Reading Room:
  • Anthony V. Nero, A Guidebook to Nuclear Reactors. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1979.
    IV 9/16-18

Nuclear Power .. The Great Bandwagon Market and Beyond

The expansion and "social construction" of nuclear power in the U.S.


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, Chapter 3 (pp. 85-118).
  • Richard F. Hirsch Technology and Transformation in the American Electric Utility Industry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. xx-yy?

In the ERG Reading Room:

  • The best book on the subject is Irvin C. Bupp and Jean-Claude Derian. Light Water: How the Nuclear Dream Dissolved. New York: Basic Books, 1978.


V 9/23-25 Video Week (Prof. Rochlin away .. To be chosen) Videos: The Atomic Café (US, 19xx), plus ????? (to be determined) VI 9/30-10/2 Socializing Nuclear Power: Europe and The Weapons Connection

Discussion of the videos on Tuesday, then into Russian, French, and British programs as well as Canada and Sweden.


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, pp. 140-176.

VII 10/7-9 "Born Secret." Fusion and The "Super" .. From the Hydrogen Bomb to ???

Fusion: weapons, secrets, and the promise of unlimited energy....

Video: A is for Atom, B is for Bomb (If I can get it).


  • Exchange of letters in March and April 1977 Physics Today about fusion power.
  • John P. Holdren, "Fusion Energy in Context: Its Fitness for the Long Term," Science, 200 (14 April 1978), 168-180.
  • Report of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, 30 Oct. 1949.
  • Hans A. Bethe, "Comments on the History of the H-Bomb" Los Alamos Science, Fall 1982, 43-53.
  • De Volpi et. al., Born Secret, 82-109.

VIII 10/14-16 Governance, Regulation and Representation

Readings (more to come!):

  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, reprise... of the history.
  • James R. Temples, "The Politics of Nuclear Power: A Subgovernment in Transition," Political Science Quarterly, 95, No. 2 (Summer 1980), pp. 239-260.

In the ERG Reading Room:

  • David Howard Davis, Energy Politics, nuclear power chapter.
  • Possibly one or two other "nuclear history" books .. To be chosen

IX 10/21-23 Nonproliferation and the NPT (the Social Construction of Nuclear Peace?)


  • Kenneth N. Waltz, "Nuclear Myths and Political Realities," American Political Science Review, 84, No. 3 (Sep 1990), 731-745.
  • Scott D. Sagan, "Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons? Three Models in Search of a Bomb, International Security, 21, No. 3 (Winter 1996/97), 54-86.
  • David J. Karl, "Proliferation Pessimism and Emerging Nuclear Powers," International Security, 21, No. 3 (Winter 1996/97), 87-119.

In the ERG reading room:

  • Nuclear Proliferation stuff (a box full)
  • Possible evening session of videos about the effects of nuclear war??

XI 10/28-30 Plutonium, Fair or Foul? An Exercise in Discursive Policy Analysis

Guest speakers: (Alexandra von Meier, Jennifer Miller ?) readings to be supplied!


  • Glenn T. Seaborg and Justin L. Bloom, "Fast Breeder Reactors," Scientific American, Nov. 1979.
  • William Paulson, "Chance, Complexity, and Narrative Explanation." Sub-Stance 74, no. 2 (1994): 5-21.

In the ERG Reading Room:

  • Marten A. Hajer, "Discourse Coalitions and the Institutionalization of Practice: The Case of Acid Rain in Great Britain." In The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning, edited by Frank Fischer and John Forester, 43-76 Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1993.
  • Meyer, John W. and Brian Rowan. "Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony." American Journal of Sociology 83, no. 2 (September, 1977): 340-363.

XII 11/4-6 The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall (??) of Nuclear Power.


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, Chapter 7 (215-248).
  • Gene I. Rochlin, "Broken Plowshare: System Failure and the Nuclear Power Industry," from Jane Summerton, ed., Changing Large Technical Systems (Boulder CO: Westview, 1994), 231-264.
  • Exchange between Golay and Socolow and discussions on "What Role Should Nuclear Power Play and What Would Life Be Without It," 
  • Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Next Generation of Nuclear Technoloy, MIT report MIT-ANP-CP-002 (October 1993), pp. 1-1 to 1-28.

XII 11/11-13 Risk and Policy I: Hazards - Radiation and Nuclear Waste


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, Chapter 6 (177-214)
  • W. Freudenberg, "Risky Thinking - Irrational Fears About Risk, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 545 (May 1996), 44-53.
  • (More to come)

XIII 11/18-20 Risk and Policy II: Operations - TMI, Chernobyl and Nuclear Accidents


  • The China Syndrome and/or a Chernobyl video (??) (Evening session??)


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, Chapter 8 (249-278).
  • "Chernobyl: Ten Years After." Set of articles from the May/June 1996 issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

XIV 11/25 and Thanksgiving

Tues 11/25: Social Construction and Safety: Nuclear Operations


  • Pool, Beyond Engineering, Chapter 9.
  • Gene I. Rochlin and Alexandra von Meier. "Nuclear Power Operations: A Cross-Cultural Perspective." Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 19 (1994): 153-187.
  • Paul R. Schulman, "Heroes, Organizations, and High Reliability." Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 4, No. 2 (June, 1996): 72-82.
  • Karl E. Weick, "Organizational Culture as a Source of High Reliability." California Management Review, 29, No. 2 (Winter, 1987): 112-127.

XV Wrap up and class presentations (if any)

Note: This course syllabus was last updated 8/31/97