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Ambient air control in Germany : managerial perspectives on the causes of failure in the creation and implementation processes of local ambient air policies

Schmudlach, J. (2020) Ambient air control in Germany : managerial perspectives on the causes of failure in the creation and implementation processes of local ambient air policies.

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Abstract:All of us need to breathe. Having access to clean air is essential for life. The European Directive on clean ambient air (EU Directive 2008/50/EC) defines air quality targets, which are, in turn, directly translated to national legislation. The division of power leads to a municipal responsibility for the accomplishment of the supranational agreement. However, German municipalities significantly struggle to comply with the implementation of air quality targets, albeit local coping strategies are installed for decades. In particular traffic related pollutants display the point of concern in today’s target exceedances. Though, existing concepts from different countries offer promising solution paths to resolve the problem, which is tied to traffic loads, urban infrastructures, and social desirability. Hence, evidence for mechanisms able to resolve the current policy problem is present. Therefore, this research investigates reasons why German municipalities have not yet complied better with EU ambient air quality targets, although best practices are available. To do, the city-level administration’s perspective is applied. The perspective offers the best insights due to the municipal scope in the matter, which translates the responsibility to the managerial capabilities of public servants. These capabilities, in turn, reflect in content-related and procedural aspects of policy creation and implementation. Therefore, the examination comprises of two steps. First, by means of a structured comparison of local policies’ logic structures, based on policy theories, the content-related aspects can be visualised and compared. By means of in-depth expert interviews, this study adopts conditions for successful policy implementation and explores how the accomplishment of these conditions are perceived by the accountable actors. The study concludes the structure in legislation and the actors’ sets of values determine the current paths, which are unlikely to resolve the hazardous situations. Though, external influences, such as charges claiming the right for prescribed emission extents, positively influence the goal accomplishment of the local level, although national support is required in terms of funding and legislation. Eventually, bureaucratic burdens in investing these national funds are indicated, too.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 55 traffic technology, transport technology, 88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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