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The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy$
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Charlotte Burns, Paul Tobin, and Sebastian Sewerin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826958.001.0001

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Renewable Energy: Policy Dynamics at the Macro-, Meso-, and Micro-Levels

Renewable Energy: Policy Dynamics at the Macro-, Meso-, and Micro-Levels

Chapter:
(p.43) 3 Renewable Energy: Policy Dynamics at the Macro-, Meso-, and Micro-Levels
Source:
The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy
Author(s):

Sebastian Sewerin

Tobias S. Schmidt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198826958.003.0003

Renewable energy is a distinct policy field encompassing both economic and environmental considerations. How these are balanced in the face of the 2007–8 economic crisis is an important question relating to the general stickiness of environmental policies. In this chapter, we investigate long-term policy dynamics across both EU and non-EU countries and across three levels of policy change. Using an Index of Policy Activity (IPA) dataset of 562 policies, we analyse the general direction of overall change in policy mixes (macro-level), the dynamics of policy instrument type use (meso-level), and change to policy design (micro-level). We find that, while the crisis marks a turning point in the speed of policy change, the direction of policy change alters only in Ireland and the UK—namely towards policy dismantling. However, we show that dismantling and expansion unfold differently at the policy meso- and micro-levels, adding further nuance to the empirical analysis of dynamics of policy change.

Keywords:   environmental policy, renewable energy policy, Index of Policy Activity, policy change, policy dismantling, economic crisis, policy instruments, policy design

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