Practical argumentation in the European energy and climate debates: Values, argumentative strategies, and discursive representations across Europe

Exploratory grant for international projects awarded by the FCSH (Faculty od Social Sciences and Humanities – Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

September 2015 – February 2017

Marcin Lewinski


Project summary:

The aim of the project is to methodically analyse and evaluate practical argumentation in the public debates over European energy and climate policies. Crucial questions are asked today across Europe: Shall we keep buying natural gas from Russia? Or invest more in wind and solar energy? Or instead return to coal or nuclear energy? Or go for the shale gas exploration? In all that, what are our primary goals and values? What should be our criteria for such critical decisions? Are national energy security, global climate justice, and economic efficiency compatible as “no-regret” options – or are they mutually exclusive? These questions lead to competing views and arguments being hotly debated across the European Union and beyond. The on-going multi-party debates (polylogues) are expected to produce one consistent pan-European energy policy. What are the chief components of these debates in terms of practical arguments produced for and against proposed courses of action? In order to understand the discursive contributions of the parties to the European energy and climate change debates, the international team involved in the project will examine the linguistic manifestations of practical arguments, main argumentative strategies and values on which arguments are based. The project will use a corpus of available local, national and EU debates and documents.


The project involves the local core members of the FCSH team (Marcin Lewinski, Dima Mohammed, Fabrizio Macagno, Mali Uzelgun, Catherine Moury), as well as four international teams.

(1)   The Netherlands (University of Amsterdam, University of Groningen)

(2)   The UK (University of Lancaster, University of Central Lancashire)

(3)   Switzerland  (University of Fribourg, University of Lugano, University of Lausanne)

(4)   The USA (Rutgers University)

Some of the members of the teams - Jan Albert van Laar (Groningen, NL), Jean Wagemans (Amsterdam, NL), Isabela and Norman Fairclough (Lancaster, UK), and Steve Oswald (Fribourg, CH) , and Mark Aakhus (Rutgers, USA) – presented their contributions to the project during the International Workshop Practical argumentation in the energy and climate debates organized at the ArgLab in September 2015.

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All Events

Book Launch: Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and social values with Thomas Fuchs

Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and…

June 25, 2018

Workshop: Misunderstanding, disagreement, manipulation

The idea of the workshop is to explore the blurred…

June 22, 2018

Katharina Stevens, 18 June 2018, 14h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Argument-Design through Role-Taking"

June 18, 2018

Workshop: Communication and metaphors for health. An educational challenge

The workshop discusses the importance of communication and metaphors in…

June 01, 2018

Inês Hipólito, 30th May 11:00 - 12:00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Perception as Cognition: Beyond…

May 30, 2018

Dima Mohammed, 28 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Proposals for the examination of networked…

May 28, 2018

Jakob Krebs, 16 May, 15h to 16h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Pictorial Models, Imagination, and…

May 16, 2018

Mehmet Ali Üzelgün, 14 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Level, focus, and force of argumentative…

May 14, 2018

Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and the Self

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning Workshop "Virtualism and the Mind"

April 23, 2018

João Leite, 16 April 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "An Online Social Debating System"

April 16, 2018

Klaus Gärtner, 20 Mar, 2018, 14.30h to 15.30h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"4E Cognition: Radical or…

March 20, 2018

Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas, 19 March 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Reasoning as a self-doubter"

March 19, 2018

Erich Rast, 16.3., Sala 1.05 ID, 16h

Value Seminar Session with Erich Rast, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 16, 2018

Value Seminar Marcin Lewiński, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Marcin Lewiński, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 09, 2018

Value Seminar Dima Mohammed, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Dima Mohammed, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 02, 2018

The 1st European Conference on Argumentation

International Conference | Argumentation and Reasoned Action

June 09, 2015


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa