In my research I focus on three main topics:

  • Environmental and climate policy & politcs
  • European Union research
  • local and subnational politics

Environmental and climate policy & the Fridays for Future movement

The Fridays for Future movement has gained support over the last few years. But how do political parties react to the movement and its demands? In our new article ‚Friend or foe? Comparing party reactions to Fridays for Future in a party system polarised between AfD and Green Party‘ my colleague Lars E. Berker and I investigate the responses of German parties to this new environmental movement. You can read the article here (it’s open access).

We developed a fine-grained analytical approach to differentiate between reactions to the movement.

Using this approach, we can show clear differences between party responses with centre-left parties taking a stance as supporters and friends of the movement. In particular, the right-wing populist AfD not only rejects Fridays for Future but even defames its protagonists and supporters.

Reactions to Fridays for Future by German political parties

The position of political parties in environmental politics

In a new article published in Comparative Governance and Politics, my colleague Lars Berker and I show that we should conceptualize environmental politics as a multi-dimensional concept. While existing measurements of party positions often understand environmental politics vis-a-vis economic policy, we go beyond these approaches and focus on seven dimensions of environmental politics.

To find out more, check out our open-access article here.

Policy Dismantling in EU environmental and climate policy

The European Union follows an ambitious environmental and climate policy. The goal of a sustainable development was even included in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. However, scholars intensively debate how the EU puts its ambitious goals into action in policy measures. In our paper ‚Many faces of dismantling: hiding policy change in non-legislative acts in EU environmental policy‘ Andrea Lenschow and I take a closer look at comitology procedures. We investigate dismantling strategies that remain hidden away from political attention. Thus, we argue policy research might benefit from investigating comitology procedures to uncover forms of dismantling. Overall, while the EU formulates ambitious goals, the EU Commission pursues ulterior paths to reduce burdens that are put on industries. You can read the article in the Journal of European Public Policy.

In another article, I investigate the simultaneous process of policy expansion and dismantling. Focusing on the EU’s Ecodesign policy, the article shows how settings of experimentalist governance allow the EU Commission to pursue a strategy of dismantling by default to reduce the policy’s overall strictness. You can read the article in the Journal of Common Market Studies (it’s open access).