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

Steven Gouveia, 13 December 2017, 16h

Steven Gouveia presents A Neurophilosophical Account of Perception The Mind…

December 13, 2017

Andri Christodoulou, 11 Dec 2017, 16h30

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Using argumentation as a tool for…

December 11, 2017

Elisabetta Montanari, 27 Nov 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Learning Consistency Via Argumentation"

November 27, 2017

Dina Mendonça, Fr 27 Nov 17 Sala 606 TB, 16h

Dina Mendonça on the Role of Reflexivity and Meta-Emotions in…

November 24, 2017

Klaus Gaertner, 15 November 2017, 16h

Klaus Gartner RIP Mind & Cognition Seminar, The Dynamics of…

November 15, 2017

Fabrizio Macagno, 13 November 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Evidence for misunderstandings"

November 13, 2017

Conference on Value Disagreement

VDC-2017: International Conference on Value Disagreement @IFILNOVA

November 09, 2017

Assimakis Tseronis, 16 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Multimodal Argumentation: Building Bridges between Argumentation…

October 16, 2017

Andrés Soria Ruiz, 13th October 2017, 11h

Talk by Andrés Soria Ruiz, Institut Nicod | Fr. 13.10.2017…

October 13, 2017

Workshop on Legal evidence and argumentation

The workshop aims at exploring the notion of expert-based evidence…

October 11, 2017

RIP Seminar with Rob Clowes, 4th October 2017 at 16h.

Mind & Cognition RIP Seminar on Material Agency and Strong…

October 04, 2017

Marcin Lewiński, 2 October 2017, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Disagreeing, misunderstanding and strawmanning"

October 02, 2017


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa