Translation and shared learning through government-to-government partnership: Renewable energy collaboration between China and Denmark

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

This paper views sustainability as a guiding developmental idea that is turned into strategic political tools. These political tools embrace interlinked approaches and processes within environment, energy and climate change to address environmental challenges within specific socio-economic and political settings. None of these policy arenas could exist without the other. The paper zooms in on the renewable energy component of the triad through examining the collaboration between the Chinese and Danish governments within renewable energy. This collaboration has been going on for many years and aims to contribute to the green transition of the Chinese energy system, thus reducing Chinese emissions of greenhouse gases.The collaboration is a key component of the Sino-Danish Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2008 and it has largely been driven by Chinese needs and demands.

The paper argues that in this particular type of partnership-based collaboration, translation is important both in relation to the explicit as well as to the implicit objectives of the collaboration. Development and integration of renewable energy solutions is based on adaption of comprehensive and complex technologies (technology transfer, development, and/or diffusion). These combine in locally situated solutions that have a strong potential to challenge established ways of doing things in China, i.e. institutional arrangements embedded in the energy system and the interests that aim to serve, uphold and maintain them.

Assuming that collaborative processes either collapse when facing such challenges or, alternatively, must overcome them based on common and shared learning and that translation of key concepts, solutions, and institutional arrangements are key factors in the process to attain this, the paper will analyze select cases of translations of complex challenges and new solutions that have occurred during the Sino-Danish collaboration. The case study will be based on interviews of actors in the collaborative Sino-Danish network to identify and examine such ‘commanding moments’ of the collaboration where complex ideas and concepts related to the green transition of the Chinese energy system had to be translated through knowledge sharing. These cases will be contextualized through analysis of the relevant Chinese energy debates and will, finally, be referenced in relation to similar collaboration between China and other countries.

The ultimate aim is to explain how shared learning in cross-cultural environments work with translation as a tool aimed to facilitate complex learning and diffusion processes. The paper thus moves beyond a pure linguistic approach to translation, viewing it as a process of solution-oriented shared learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 9 Jun 2018
EventTranslation and Sustainability - Duke Kunshan University , Kunshan, China
Duration: 8 Jun 20189 Jun 2018


WorkshopTranslation and Sustainability
LocationDuke Kunshan University

ID: 197693421