Policy Feedback and Public Opinion: Local Acceptance of Nuclear Power in China
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
(1) There are three kinds of policy instruments taken by the governments to promote public acceptance of nuclear power: popularization of science knowledge, political mobilization and public involvement. The policy of popularization of science knowledge aims to promote the public’s scientific understanding of nuclear power by optimizing public knowledge structure. The goal of political mobilization is to stimulate the public’s collectivism. The objective of public participation is to strengthen the public’s trust in the governments, enterprises, scientists and media groups.
(2) During the internal cognitive process, public acceptance of nuclear power is not only affected by risk-benefit perception of nuclear power but also by emotion perception and social trust of nuclear programs. It means that the public’s knowledge does not influence their acceptance of nuclear energy significantly.
(3) The effects of three policy instruments are also different. As two kinds of policy instrument, political mobilization and public participation help to promote public acceptance, while popularization of science knowledge fails to do that effectively. Political mobilization is conducive to strengthening the public’s collectivism and their emotion perception of nuclear programs. Public involvement contributes to promoting social trust, while popularization of science could not effectively encourage the public to promote related knowledge to accept nuclear power. As an authoritarian state, Chinese government has strong mobilization ability, which can shape public opinion by many kinds of policy instruments and bring policy feedback among the public.