Renewable Energy: The Roles of States, Social Movements, and Policy in California and Germany
White, Robert Edward
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This project examines the development of renewable policy in California and Germany through the theoretical lens provided by John Dryzek's democratic theory of social movement engagement with the liberal democratic nation-state. Specifically, this thesis considers the impact of social movements on what the theory identifies as five core imperatives of state. The argument uses a qualitative, comparative, process tracing methodology, supported by critical discourse analysis, to analyze environmental social movement engagements with the state in relation to the development of renewable energy policymaking in the state of California and in the Federal Republic of Germany between 2000 and 2017. Whereas Dryzek and colleagues argue that environmental movement activism may have prompted a new, sixth, environmental conservation imperative of state, this thesis differs. Rather, the analysis finds that if indeed such a sixth imperative is emergent, it might better be defined as a resource conservation imperative. That is, in California and in Germany, it is not so much the environment but rather access to abundant and economically sustainable natural resources that states aim to conserve.
- Masters Theses