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  • Series: New Horizons in Environmental Politics series x
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Franziska Ehnert

Chapter 1 sets the scene by introducing the research gap in climate policy analysis. It outlines the argument that policy formulation can be better understood by studying the actors who formulate these policies: the ministerial administrations. It spells out the research question of analyzing policy change in climate policy. The chapter discusses the contributions made by this comparative study, which lie in the innovative conceptual framework which builds on DI and the wide scope of the empirical cases covered. It elaborates the comparative case study design and the research methods which were applied for data generation and analysis. Following the interpretive research paradigm, the study adopts an explorative approach. This means that the characteristics of the cases are not known to the researcher, before entering the research site, but instead are explored throughout the research process. Chapter 1 concludes with an outline of the book.

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Franziska Ehnert

In Chapter 2, a conceptual framework is developed for studying the role of ministerial administrations in policy formulation. Taking up the turn to ideas, discursive neo-institutionalism emerged as the most recent neo-institutionalism. It seeks to integrate ideas, discourses and institutions by introducing a logic of interpretation and communication. By reference to ideas and discourses, it elucidates how beliefs are reinterpreted, interests redefined and policies reformulated. However, DI argues that the meaning of ‘text’ can only be understood within its ‘institutional context’. Therefore, DI builds on the earlier neo-institutionalisms in an integrative manner. The chapter contributes to neo-institutional theory by refining the notion of institutions. It shifts the focus from macro-institutional to micro-institutional choices by illustrating the internal structures, practices and cultures of ministerial administrations. These encompass the configuration of the core executive, the specialization of the ministerial administration and the policy style.

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Franziska Ehnert

Chapter 3 introduces Denmark as a small, green state. It analyzes how the policy idea of a long-term transformation of the energy system was adopted in Denmark. With the Energy Agreement of 2012, Denmark was the first country to introduce the policy objective of phasing out fossil fuels. As the consensus-seeking policy style was an overarching feature of the discourse, policy proposal consultations were characterized by openness and inclusiveness. A shift in the policy ideals, creating a consensus on the economic feasibility of a transformation of the energy system, was the basis for developing the Energy Agreement. The chapter seeks to reconstruct the policy frames and identities which shaped the interpretation of political interests. Policy deliberations were guided by the belief in intellectual leadership in climate policy, consensus-seeking, political responsibility for the energy sector, and the political struggle between right- and left-wing parties over climate policy.

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Franziska Ehnert

Chapter 4 discusses the formulation of the German Energy Concept of 2010 as the first policy strategy, which introduces the long-term objective of transforming the energy system in Germany. Although Germany is a large state with a long tradition of environmentalism, the Ministry of Environment was highly contested in its policy entrepreneurship formulating the Energy Concept. Acting as an advocate of climate policy, the ministry challenged the discourse on economic growth and social welfare promoted by the other ministries. Two phases of the coordinative discourse can be distinguished, the initial one being more closed and exclusive, the second being more open and inclusive towards other sectoral ministries and societal stakeholders. The discourse was guided by a fear of political stalemate and the risk of jeopardizing an agreement altogether. The ministries thus sought to postpone the politics of accommodating different political interests to the future.

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Franziska Ehnert

As Estonia underwent the processes of democratization and Europeanization later than the Western European countries, the origins of its climate and energy policy lie more in internationalization and Europeanization than in domestic politics. Chapter 5 considers how the Energy Services Directive (Directive 2006/32/EC) was translated, debated and eventually adopted in Estonia. Having the identity of a small state and a belated modernizer was a guiding policy frame. Against this backdrop, Estonia’s attitude towards EU climate policy was characterized by ambiguity. On the one hand, it sought constructive partnership and cooperation with the EU. On the other, the transposition of EU climate policy was interpreted as an obligation and a potential obstacle to economic growth. Policy on energy efficiency therefore lacked political advocacy and the coordinative discourse on the Second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan of 2011 was dominated by a frame of technocratic compliance with the Energy Services Directive.

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Franziska Ehnert

In contrast to its Western European counterparts, climate policy was introduced in post-communist Poland primarily through internationalization and Europeanization. Against this backdrop, Chapter 6 analyzes how the Energy Services Directive (Directive 2006/32/EC) was transposed in Poland through the Energy Efficiency Act of 2011. In formulating the Energy Efficiency Act, a major controversy arose around the question of merely complying with the directive’s minimum requirements, or using it as an opportunity for innovation in energy efficiency policy. The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance were the main protagonists of this discourse: the former as the advocate and the latter as the opponent of energy efficiency policy. Whilst the Ministry of Economy associated energy efficiency policy with the notion of ecological modernization and the modernization of the Polish economy during the transition process, the Ministry of Finance sought to preserve fiscal stability.

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Franziska Ehnert

Chapter 7 discusses the similarities and differences between policy change in Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Poland. The comparative findings illustrate how climate policies were interpreted and discursively formulated in view of countries’ institutional histories and identities. The chapter presents the implications of this comparative analysis for the empirical study of climate policy, the development of neo-institutional theory and political practice. The comparative analysis addresses a gap in empirical research concerning the role of ministerial administrations in climate policy and climate policy in Central Eastern Europe. It contributes to neo-institutional theory by bringing the state back into the study of climate policy and refines the notion of institutions, by incorporating the ministerial administrations as micro-institutions. This offers new insights into the conception of policy styles and lessons for political practice. Chapter 7 concludes by outlining avenues for future research.

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Climate Policy in Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Poland

Ideas, Discourses and Institutions

Franziska Ehnert

By opening a new dialogue between scholars of public policy and those of public administration, Climate Policy in Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Poland offers a timely contribution to climate policy analysis. This innovative book explores how and why policies are changed or continued by employing in-depth studies from a diverse range of EU countries. Analytical and accessible, this explorative book will be of value to scholars and students of climate policy, public policy and public administration, as well as practitioners and policy-makers.
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Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Decision-making, Implementation and Reform

Jon Birger Skjærseth, Per Ove Eikeland, Lars H. Gulbrandsen and Torbjørg Jevnaker

Based on an innovative theoretical framework combining theories of EU policy making, negotiation and implementation, this comprehensive book examines EU climate and energy policies from the early 1990s until the adoption of new policies for 2030. The authors investigate how the linking of climate and energy concerns in policy packages has facilitated agreement among EU leaders with very different policy ambitions. Employing in-depth studies from a diverse range of energy-economic countries, the book also explores the impact of the implementation of policies on the climate and energy policy framework and the Energy Union initiative.
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Richard D. Margerum and Cathy J. Robinson

Collaborative approaches to governance have been initiated to address some of the most complex and difficult problems facing society today. This chapter reviews the principles and concepts embodying collaboration and its evolution from a range of disciplines. It reviews the emergence of collaboration in the United States, Europe and globally. It explores the concept of collaboration and its principles across a diversity of disciplines, including urban planning, public administration, public policy, political science, conflict resolution and other fields. The authors unpack the concepts of challenges faced by collaboration and the extent to which these represent limitations or shortcomings of theory and practice. They also examine the concept of governance and its changing nature in relation to decision making, participants in this decision making and the role of government. The chapter concludes with an overview of each chapter in the book and its contributions to (1) theory and context, (2) problems and context, (3) policy politics and power, (4) organizations, stakeholders and governance, and (5) process and participation.