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Durable by Design?
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Book description

Following the landmark Paris agreement, policy makers are under pressure to adopt policies that rapidly deliver deep, society-wide decarbonisation. Deep decarbonisation requires more durable policies, but not enough is known about if and how they actually emerge. This book provides the first systematic analysis of the determinants of policy durability in three high-profile areas: biofuel production, car transport, and industrial emissions. It breaks new ground by exploring how key European Union climate policies have shaped their own durability and their ability to stimulate supportive political dynamics in society. It combines state-of-the-art policy theories with empirical accounts of landmark political events such as 'Dieselgate' and the campaign against 'dirty' biofuels, to offer a fresh understanding of how and why policy makers set about packaging together different elements of policy. By shining new light on an important area of contemporary policy making, it reveals a rich agenda for academic researchers and policy makers.


‘In many countries contemporary policy-making is dominated by policy churn or the tendency for policy aims, goals, programmes and policies to bounce back and forth as governments and popular opinion change. While in some cases these short-term fluctuations may not affect longer term policy goals and aspirations, in many others this pattern of policy-making can be very damaging to attempts to resolve problems such as climate change or pensions that require sustained and consistent long-term policy effort. In such cases policy-makers and their advisors – 'policy designers' – are rightfully concerned with better understanding how policy durability can be built into present day choices and programmes in order that they can withstand partisan and other forces driving short-termism. Written by experts in the field, Durable by Design? carefully examines and draws lessons from three key cases of efforts to design robust and resilient policies in the environmental sphere in Europe. The book illuminates the phenomenon of policy feedback and explains how these policy dynamics can be managed so that policy solutions can be made consonant with problems of this type.’

Michael Howlett - Simon Fraser University

‘Motivated by the observation that many climate change policies have been neither durable nor influential, this important new book aims to unravel the positive and negative feedback mechanisms that shape policy instruments, policy goals and policy outcomes. Jordan and Moore authoritatively summarise the policy feedback literature and break new ground by enriching it with the policy design literature and by applying it to new policy areas, focusing on European Union climate policies regarding biofuels, car transport, and industry. Their longitudinal case studies and analytical interpretations provide many insights that are essential for scholars and practitioners interested in more durable climate policies that can accelerate low-carbon transitions.’

Frank W. Geels - University of Manchester

‘This in-depth exploration of the topical issue of policy feedback and policy durability in EU climate governance is conceptually well-founded, empirically rich, and arrives at clear and inspiring conclusions, particularly on the opportunities and limits of designing self-reinforcing policies. It is recommended reading for all those taking an interest in EU climate policy and its dynamics!’

Sebastian Oberthür - Vrije Universiteit Brussel and University of Eastern Finland

‘Andrew Jordan and Brendan Moore have brought together two of the enduring questions in public policy. One question is can policies persist over time, and if so how? The other question is how do policies shape politics? Their use of these two questions sheds new light on European Union climate policy, as well as offering challenges to public policy theory. This is an essential book for anyone interested in climate change policies, and the development of policy theory.’

B. Guy Peters - University of Pittsburgh

‘… the references are extensive, and the index is notable for its utility … Recommended.’

F. T. Manheim Source: Choice

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  • 1 - The Quest for Durability
    pp 3-28
  • When, Where and How Do Policies Feed Back into Politics?
  • 3 - Designing Climate Policy in the European Union
    pp 57-79
  • 4 - Climate Policy Designs
    pp 80-105
  • Contexts, Choices, Settings and Sequences


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