Environmental Policy Convergence in Europe: The Impact of by Katharina Holzinger

By Katharina Holzinger

Has globalisation resulted in a convergence in policy-making throughout countries and, if that is so, what are the causal mechanisms? This e-book analyses the level to which the environmental guidelines of state states have converged over the past thirty years and even if this convergence ended in a strengthening or weakening of environmental criteria (a race to the head, or a race to the bottom). It additionally analyses the criteria that account for those advancements. in accordance with a distinct empirical facts set, the learn covers the advance of quite a lot of environmental regulations in twenty 4 OECD nations, together with european contributors States in addition to Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico and the united states, with specific emphasis at the effect of institutional and financial interlinkages between those nations.

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1 shows, convergence is the most encompassing perspective. Focusing on transfer, diffusion or isomorphism would lead us to neglect important aspects of environmental policy change. In a large-n study we measure and explain the convergence of forty environmental policies in twenty-four mostly European countries over a period of thirty years. We do not restrict ourselves to measuring the extent and direction of policy convergence but we aim at explaining the increase in policy similarity by a whole bundle of potential driving factors of homogenisation of policies.

1 introduction As has been shown in the previous chapter, the study of cross-national policy convergence is a highly popular research area in political science. Notwithstanding these far-reaching research efforts, it is generally acknowledged that we still have a limited understanding of the causes and conditions of policy convergence. It is the objective of this chapter to develop the theory further by a systematic discussion of the causal factors of policy convergence and by the formulation of general theoretical expectations on policy convergence for each factor.

The direction of convergence can best be measured whenever the policies under consideration come in degrees, which can be associated with a normative judgement on the quality of a policy. Typical examples are the levels of environmental and consumer protection or labour standards. However, it is not always easy to identify what the top and the bottom are in a policy, because there may be different value judgements. For example, in media regulation there are competing goals of restricting harmful content on the one hand and freedom of information on the other hand.

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