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Blame Avoidance, Belief Systems, and Institutional Design : explaining why German Federal Ministries fail to adopt policy changes to address the climate crisis

Strufe, Celine (2020) Blame Avoidance, Belief Systems, and Institutional Design : explaining why German Federal Ministries fail to adopt policy changes to address the climate crisis.

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Abstract:In 2019, the Federal government of Germany adopted its so far most comprehensive but still highly controversial “Climate Package” in order to present its answer to climate change. The package encloses regulations, incentives as well as emission targets while it is criticized for being too late, imprecise and insufficient. Hence, this thesis ought to outline the role of administration in policymaking and aims to answer the question of why responsible Federal Ministries in Germany resist important policy changes, such as crucial commitments regarding the climate crisis. Research on this matter is important as we are heading straight towards a climate emergency with unclear consequences making the topic highly relevant and urgent. Therefore, an explorative single case study design with qualitative content analysis was conducted while examining interviews and additional statements of the responsible Federal Ministries in Germany. Whereas previous research focuses on economic motivated factors, this thesis proposes alternative explanations including the role of bureaucrats when it comes to policy failure. The evidence reveals a belief system-based refusal to coordinate which is made possible because of the institutional design’s inadequacy while political actors use the resulting leeway to exercise blame avoidance. Thus, I propose corresponding structural reforms concerning institutional arrangements.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82346
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