Ideological Alleviants: A Comparative Analysis of Fuel Poverty Policy
Following more than two decades of relevant research and policy in the UK, fuel poverty is increasingly being acknowledged at the national and supranational level. Although it has yet to be identified as a distinct social issue worldwide, relevant alleviatory policy is extant in most countries. However, although the drivers, effects and policies relating to fuel poverty are often very similar, there is no coherent international dialogue on the subject, and no comparative research exists beyond the EU. This dissertation addresses the gap in knowledge and discourse by developing an understanding of fuel poverty on a global scale. This understanding induces discussion on the reasons and ideologies behind the scattered and disconnected mechanisms that aim to alleviate fuel poverty. This is initially achieved via welfare regime frameworks; further points for analysis include the ways in which each regime/country perceives its citizens’ responsibilities, and the lexical confusion of the relevant vocabulary. As a result of this discussion, several recommendations are offered. These include the potential for policy transfer and a proposal for a universal definition of fuel poverty. This dissertation is a unique contribution to the literature on fuel poverty, as no similar research has yet been undertaken. Although it cannot form more than a superficial understanding of global fuel poverty, it begins a process of codification and cohesion which must continue if fuel poverty is to be alleviated.