Schaffrin, André (2013). Policy Change: Concept, Measurement, and Causes. An Empirical Analysis of Climate Mitigation Policy. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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Policy change is one of the central issues of political science, public administration, sociology, and law studies. Research on this theme dates back to the late 1950s when scholars like Herbert Simon (1957), Charles Lindblom (1959), and Thomas Kuhn (1962) postulated “that general patterns of policy development cannot only be identified but predicted“ (Howlett and Cashore, 2009). Understanding and explaining policies and policy change became important with the increasing involvement of the state in more and more realms of social life: “The modern state is widely seen as an active and as a proactive state, increasingly managing, shaping, even creating its constituent population” (Pierson, 2004a). The last two decades have seen a tremendous activity in the explanation of policy change. Debates have centered on the role of ideas, actors, and institutions as competing and coordinated explanatory accounts. However, despite a plethora of studies, there is little generalization and comparability of findings. Recently, a number of scholars have attributed this inconsistency to the lack of a common understanding and operationalization of the concept of policy change – the so-called “dependent variable problem” (Cashore and Howlett, 2007). My dissertation attempts to make three major conceptual, methodological, and explanatory contributions towards solving this problem: 1) the thesis provides a theoretical framework for policy output and develops an empirical measurement for it; 2) it argues that one needs to consider entire policy portfolios rather than individual instruments for a meaningful assessment of policy change; 3) and it analyzes how the nature of the policy field affects the assessment and explanation of policy change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Schaffrin, Andréschaffrin@wiso.uni-kolen.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-54016
Date: 10 December 2013
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Ehemalige Fakultäten, Institute, Seminare > Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences > no entry
Subjects: Social sciences
General statistics
Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:
policy change, policy innovation, climate mitigation, policy output, veto playersUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 6 December 2013
NameAcademic Title
Kaiser, AndréProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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