Institutions and Environment

Urban planners moving around items on a model of a town district Westend61/Getty Images

Project manager:

Prof. Dr. Annette Elisabeth Töller

Project staff:

Dr. Daniel Rasch
Prof. Dr. Kathrin Loer

Project description:

Both environmental policy actions and the resulting environmental standards depend, to a large extent, on institutional frameworks (particularly in the sense of decision-making competencies and procedures). These institutions are usually created or restructured with certain expectations in mind, such as the hope that they will improve the quality of the environment or increase the legitimacy and acceptance of decisions. The actual effects achieved may differ significantly from these expectations, however. The question as to how institutions actually affect (environmental) policy and ultimately environmental quality is a central focus of the environmental policy research carried out by political scientists. This research program looks beyond individual projects to gain a broader understanding of how – i.e., via which causal mechanisms and with what outcomes – institutions can affect environmental policy and quality. The program consists of a series of loosely linked, externally funded research projects that fall within this thematic framework. As regards content, it deals with the current central issues of energy and environmental policy, e.g., the underlying causes of the faltering expansion of wind energy as a component of the energy revolution or the conditions for waste avoidance in municipalities.

Political science research is interested in causal explanations based on systematic observations of a phenomenon. Working from a political science standpoint, international networks featuring expert colleagues as well as interdisciplinary cooperations with colleagues from disciplines such as psychology, law and economics are planned for the individual topics. In some projects, there are also plans to network with players from the field itself.

More on the externally funded project Circular Cities NRW (funded by the state of NRW and the EU through its ERDF funding line)

E/E/S Research Center | 10.05.2024