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The central role of centralisation in environmental policy initialisation

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While economic research on environmental policy is mainly concerned with instruments, political science concentrates on actors. The issue of centralisation needs to be analysed using a multidisciplinary approach because it is connected with both actors and instruments. Linking the Advocacy Coalition Framework with an economic approach, the paper first develops an innovative model in order to understand the mechanisms of centralisation and decentralisation in the different phases of policy processes. Focusing on environmental policy, the idea is developed that environmental policy needs the push of centralisation in order to institutionalise the prevailing social norm, but then should be organised decentrally to account for regional differences. The examples of air pollution, climate change and urban sprawl are used to test the explanatory power of the theoretical approach.
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Keywords: environmental governance; federalism; social norms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Federal Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon, Tanikon, Ettenhausen, Switzerland

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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