A number of previous studies have found compelling evidence for a regulatory expansion in the environmental area that has been ongoing since the beginning of the 1970’s in most industrialized countries. Although this finding is well-established in the literature, few previous studies have focused on understanding the causes and consequences of this regulatory expansion in the environmental area. In other words, not only do we not understand the driving forces behind why societies are responding to environmental problems; we are also in dark with regards to the effects of society’s attempts at address environmental problems. This project addresses two central questions in the study on environmental governance: 1) Which factors explain cross-national differences in environmental policy outputs, and 2) Are environmental policy outputs linked to reductions of environmental harm? By compiling a data set of longitudinal and comparative environmental policy outputs in 38 countries for the period 1970-2010, this project will be able to address fundamental questions about society’s ability to respond to environmental problems, as well as providing evidence-based policy advice on the relative strengths and weaknesses of different policy instruments. For more details, see the full project description. 

GRACE - project description (48 Kb)

Team members
Andreas Duit

Thomas Sommerer