Economic Expertise and Environmental Regulation in West German since the 1970s
The project examines the growing importance of economic regulation in West German environmental policy in the last third of the 20th century. In particular, it focuses on the proliferation of economic expertise in advisory boards such as the Council of Experts on Environmental Issues (founded in 1971). The increasing use of economic incentives, complementing so-called “command and control” regulation, has coincided with the rise of environmental economics in academia since the 1970s. How did international discourses on economic policy instruments enter the deliberation processes of German experts and policy makers? Which practical experiences in a relatively new field informed their assessments and influenced their choices? The project’s perspective is not confined to the Federal Republic but also traces the influence of the environmental bodies within OECD and the EC/EU. It seeks to understand why environmental taxes and levies were increasingly used in the Federal Republic and in other states, whereas the practice of certificate trading – originally developed in the USA – initially remained marginal for the German debate. The project will thus compare the development of U.S. and German expertise in environmental economics. Methodically, the project aims to investigate the relationship between scientific expertise and policy-making, scrutinizing the interaction and influence of politicians, public servants, internal and external experts as well as of interest groups and NGOs on the formation of environmental policy. As a new policy field, the environmental regulation encountered implementation problems and served as a laboratory for new forms of governance. The project will identify the reasons for the preference of certain policy instruments on a national and European level drawing on the papers of the Federal Ministries of the Interior, the Economy, and, since 1986, of the Environment, as well as of the OECD and the European Union.
This PhD Project ist part of the Project "Expecting Limits and Limiting Expectations – Economic Expertise, Environmental Policy and Consumption, 1970-2000"
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
office: Am Neuen Markt 9d, room E.05
E-Mail: kaiser [at] zzf-potsdam.de