Chernobyl – Turning Point or Catalyst? Changing Practices, Structures and Perceptions in Environmental Policy and Politics (1970s-1990s)

Jan-Henrik Meyer's picture
December 2, 2016 to December 3, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Public Policy, Russian or Soviet History / Studies
Chernobyl – Turning Point or Catalyst? Changing Practices, Structures and Perceptions in Environmental Policy and Politics (1970s-1990s)
International Conference, 2-3 December 2016
Heinrich-Boell-Foundation (HBS), Schumannstr. 8, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
Convenors: Christoph Becker-Schaum (Heinrich-Boell-Foundation), Jan-Henrik Meyer (Copenhagen/HoNESt) and Marianne Zepp (Heinrich-Boell-Foundation)
The conference is bilingual (English/German) with simultaneous translation.
Conference Programme
Friday, 2. December 2016
Great Hall, Heinrich Boell Foundation headquarters, Schumannstr. 8, Berlin, Germany
8:30 – 9:00 hrs
Christoph Becker-Schaum, Marianne Zepp, Jan-Henrik Meyer:
Welcome and Introductory Remarks
9:00 – 11:00 hrs
Between Politics and Society: Environmental policy responses after Chernobyl: Eastern and Western Europe: Part 1
Chair: Alison Kraft
Arne Kaijser: The effects of the Chernobyl disaster on Swedish energy and environmental policies
Luigi Piccioni: Towards a non-nuclear country: The impact of the Chernobyl accident on the institutionalization of environmental policy and politics in Italy
Karena Kalmbach: Chernobyl and no Consequences? Impacts on environmental policy in France and the UK
Comment: Elisabetta Bini
11:00 – 11:30 hrs Coffee break
11:30 – 13:00 hrs
State and Public Administration: Risk and Safety after Chernobyl
Chair: Jan-Henrik Meyer
Susanne Benöhr-Laqueur: Routineprogramm? Der Regelungsmechanismus des Strahlenschutzvorsorgegesetzes auf kommunaler Ebene – dargestellt am Beispiel der Stadt Bremerhaven (=Business as usual? The regulatory mechanism of radiation protection law at the local level - Bremerhaven)
Bruno de Corte: Tschernobyl, Wendepunkt der belgischen Energie- und Umweltpolitik (= Turning Point of Belgian Energy and Environmental Policy)
Comment: Lutz Mez
13:00 – 14:00 hrs Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 hrs
Between Politics and Society: (Environmental) policy responses after Chernobyl: Eastern and Western Europe: Part 2
Chair: Franz Mauelshagen
Ivaylo Hristov: The Green change in Bulgaria. Dynamics in Bulgarian environmental policies in a period of transition (1985-1995)
Tatiana Perga: The role of the Chernobyl disaster in the formation of the protest movement in Ukraine (1986-1991)
Dimitry V. Efremenko: Chernobyl, eco-nationalism and the downfall of the Soviet Union
Comment: Barbara Curli
16:00 – 16:30 hrs Coffee break
16:30 – 18:00
Industry and Politics: Safety after Chernobyl
Chair: Aristoteles Tympas
Anna Veronika Wendland: Von der Angstabwehr zur Sicherheitskultur. Diskursive und technologische Strategien der Atomwirtschaften im globalen Norden nach Tschernobyl (=From fighting fear to security culture. Discursive and technological strategies of nuclear economies in the global North after Chernobyl)
Andrei Stsiapanau: The techno-political controversies in Belarus and Lithuania after Chernobyl
Comment: Rüdiger Graf
19:00 hrs
Intro: Marianne Zepp
Evening Talk
Joachim Radkau:
Tschernobyl: Wendepunkt oder Katalysator der Umweltpolitik? ( = Chernobyl. Turning point or catalyst in environmental policy)
Saturday, 3 December 2016
9:00 – 10:30 hrs
Between Politics and Society: Environmental policy responses after Chernobyl: Eastern and Western Europe: Part 3
Chair: Astrid Mignon Kirchhof
Julia Ault: Chernobyl as a Turning Point in Communist Eastern Europe. Protest and System-Critique in East Germany and Poland
Maria Schubert: Tschernobyl – Anfang vom Ende der DDR (=Chernobyl - Beginning of the end of GDR)
Comment: Timothy Scott Brown
10:30 – 11:00 hrs Coffee break
11:00 – 12:30 hrs
Party Politics and Chernobyl: Changing positions on environmental policy?
Chair: Marianne Zepp
Jan-Eric Hansen: Streit um die Zukunft: Der umweltpolitische Diskurs in der deutschen Sozialdemokratie (= Struggling about the future. The environmental policy debate among West German Social Democrats)
Christoph Becker-Schaum: Atomausstieg als Markenkern. Die Grünen und Tschernobyl (= Phaseout as a trademark issue. The Greens and Chernobyl)
Comment: Frank Bösch
12:30-13:30 hrs Lunch
13:30 - 15:30 hrs
Beyond the reactors: Chernobyl and energy transition(s)
Chair: Eleonora Rohland
Jan-Henrik Meyer: The Critique of Nuclear Power and the Search for Alternatives in Denmark
Stephen Milder: Between Apokalypses: Chernobyl, Global Warming, and the Beginnings of Germany’s Energiewende
Miina Kaarkoski: The German ‘Energiewende’ and Re-assessing the Importance of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
Comment: Ute Hasenöhrl
15.30 - 16:30 hrs
 Conclusions: What have we learnt and where to go?
Contact Info: 


Dr. Marianne Zepp
Schumannstr. 8
10117 Berlin, Germany
Archiv Grünes Gedächtnis
Dr. Christoph Becker-Schaum
Eldenaer Str. 35, 10247 Berlin

Dr Jan-Henrik Meyer

Faculty of Humanities
University of Copenhagen
Karen Blixensvej 4, DK-2300 København S

Contact Email: