Policy entrepreneurs are individuals who exploit an opportunity in order to influence political results for their own benefit. We use the policy entrepreneurship literature as a theoretical lens for understanding how local players in the policy arena can use a national security agenda in order to promote an energy policy they desire. Using a case study approach, we explain how an Israeli electric vehicle company, Better Place, identified Israel's acute national security priority to cut its dependence on oil and leveraged it, along with environmental arguments, to make the case for their approach to transportation. Our analysis also demonstrates how policy entrepreneurs collaborate with Israeli bureaucrats, senior politicians and lobbying groups to create a national shift toward electric cars.
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In the next stage, in order to cultivate bureaucratic insiders and advocates, Better Place partnered with the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry. Having a link with government authorities in a traditional society such as Japan helps remove the administrative obstacles involved in approving the various phases of the project. Then, Better Place collaborated with a high-profile Japanese organization, Nihon Kotsu, Tokyo's largest operator of taxis. The collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry allowed Better Place to enlist the support of elected officials too. In order to form an initial lobbying group and coordinate efforts before launching the project in Tokyo, Better Place ran a successful preliminary pilot in Yokohama, Japan. Finally, to cultivate additional media attention, Better Place is going to establish similar taxi demonstration projects in the United States in the cities of San Jose and San Francisco. The company will receive support from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation. In order to illustrate the ability of the electric taxi to travel long distances, Better Place will build four battery-swapping stations on the roads between San Jose and San Francisco.
- Electric car
- National security agenda
- Policy entrepreneurship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Energy (all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law