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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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Environmental Policy and the Economic Crisis

Environmental Policy and the Economic Crisis

The Swedish and Danish Cases

(p.111) 6 Environmental Policy and the Economic Crisis
The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy

Jakob Skovgaard

Roger Hildingsson

Bengt Johansson

Oxford University Press

This chapter employs qualitative analysis to apply the Index of Policy Activity (IPA) to climate policy in Sweden and Demark—two countries often identified as environmental leaders. It finds that the economic crisis that started in 2007–8 had substantial impacts in both states. However, Denmark, which was hit harder and for a much longer period of time than Sweden, witnessed more dismantling of its environmental policy. The analysis suggests that in both countries the political orientation of the government and changes of government proved to be key factors shaping policy ambition. Path dependence, manifested in an entrenched commitment to ecological modernization, helped to maintain support for progressive environmental policy. International pressure was also central in pushing Sweden in particular to express leadership and to promote ambitious climate policy.

Keywords:   climate policy, Denmark, economic crisis, environmental policy, ecological modernization, framing, leadership, path dependence, policy dismantling, Sweden

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