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Lee, Dasom and David J. Hess. 2022. "Public concerns and connected and automated vehicles: safety, privacy, and data security." Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. 

One dimension of the emerging politics of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) is the development of public concerns over their societal implications and associated policy issues. This study uses original survey data from the United States to contribute to the anticipation of future policy and political issues for CAVs. Several studies have surveyed the public regarding CAVs; however, there are few studies that highlight the multidimensional public concerns that CAVs will most likely bring. The study breaks down the concept of “public” by showing that the demographic variables of gender, age, race, ethnicity, income, location (rural, suburban, urban), and political ideology (conservative, moderate, liberal) are significantly associated with three of the most salient public concerns to date (safety, privacy, and data security). Furthermore, the effects of demographic variables also vary across the type of policy issue. For example, women tend to be more concerned about safety than their male counterparts, and Hispanics (Latinx) tend to be more concerned about privacy than non-Hispanics. The research shows how the social scientific analysis of the “politics” of CAVs will require attention to the variegated connections between different types of public concern and different demographic variables.

Lee, Dasom and David J. Hess. 2021. "Data privacy and residential smart meters: Comparative analysis and harmonization potential." Utilities Policy 70: 101188.

Building on privacy principles of the Fair Information Practice Principles and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, the study compares national policies and programs in Europe and North America and identifies prevailing practices for implementing privacy goals for residential energy customers: customer opt-out policies, sampling and sharing guidelines, independent data storage, and governmental enforcement authority. The analysis provides the basis for privacy standards that could apply to advanced-metering customer data across countries, even with rapidly evolving technology.

Hess, David J., and Dasom Lee. 2020. "Energy decentralization in California and New York: Conflicts in the politics of shared solar and community choice." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 121: 109716.

This study reviews the development of shared (community) solar and community choice aggregation in the U.S. states of California and New York. Both states are leaders in energy-transition policy in the U.S., but they have different trajectories for the two forms of energy decentralization. Shared solar is more advanced in New York, but community choice is more advanced in California. Using a field theory framework, the comparative review of the trajectories of energy decentralization shows how differences in restructuring and regulatory rules affect outcomes. Differences in the rules for retail competition and authority for utilities to own distributed generation assets, plus the role of civil society and the attention from elected officials, shape the intensity of conflict and outcomes. They also contribute to the development of different types of community choice in the two states. In addition to showing how institutional conditions associated with different types of restructured markets shape the opportunities for decentralized energy, the study also examines how the efforts of actors to gain support for and to legitimate their policy preferences involve reference to broad social values.

Lee, Dasom, and David J. Hess. 2020. "Regulations for on-road testing of connected and automated vehicles: Assessing the potential for global safety harmonization." Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 136: 85-98.

Although there is great media attention to connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and strong public interest in the technology, it is still under development. Their deployment to the broader public will require new regulations and road traffic rules that are also under development, and there is not yet a globally harmonized approach. This paper reviews the main safety and liability issues for CAVs with a focus on the rules developed for on-road testing to date in Australia, the United States, and Germany. It also reviews government policies from Victoria, Australia, and California, the United States, and it provides an appendix on European Union (E.U.) regulations. After a review of similarities and differences regarding safety and liability provisions, the study suggests how the current provisions can be brought together toward a globally harmonized approach to safety issues that builds on best practices in the three countries.

Lee, Dasom, and David J. Hess. 2019. "Incumbent resistance and the solar transition: changing opportunity structures and framing strategies." Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 33: 183-195.

Sustainability transitions often involve policy conflicts, especially when incumbents perceive threats to their business models, and conflicts involve framing of competing positions in the public sphere. Using the case of the growth of distributed solar energy in the U.S. electricity sector, this study shows how the concepts of industry and political opportunity structures can help to explain variation in discursive strategy. First, when incumbents perceive the growth of the challenger as a threat, the industry opportunity structure closes, the volume of framing activity in the public sphere increases as contention grows, and the differentiation in framing (the ratio of pro- to anti-transition frames) between incumbents and challengers increases. Second, with respect to the political opportunity structure, the selection of frame types (environmental versus economic-consumer) varies in relationship to control of the government by conservative or progressive parties. Theoretical implications for transitions studies are discussed.

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