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Between Political Steering and Societal Self-Organization: The Emergence of Renewable Energy Cooperatives in Germany

Topel, L.K. (2016) Between Political Steering and Societal Self-Organization: The Emergence of Renewable Energy Cooperatives in Germany.

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Abstract:In numerous EU countries, the local level is moving back into the spotlight. We can observe particularly dynamic developments within the renewable energy sector, where innovative local initiatives emphasize sustainable development and community orientation. Hundreds of newly emerged renewable energy cooperatives (RECoops) are a clear manifestation of this phenomenon in Germany. This thesis seeks to understand its underlying causal macro- and meso-level processes and the connection between them: In how far was the emergence of RECoops influenced by institutional change, political steering, and local governments? Information was gathered and documented based on secondary literature review and qualitative data analysis. It was then organized and restructured within the analytical categories of Actor-Centred Instituionalism. The findings show that the sudden manifold formation of cooperatively organized RE projects was the outcome of complex, interwoven processes. These included the shift towards non-hierarchical political steering patterns at both the national and local level, as well as institutionally spurred interactions among civil society and public actors within their respective municipalities. Evidence was found that local governments are much more actively involved in both the foundation and later operation of RECoops than the lack of scientific attention to their role thus far would have suggested.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70625
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