Explaining Dutch Failure and German Success in Renewable Energy Policymaking An Agency/Structure Perspective
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Within Europe, Germany is clearly leading with regard to new renewable energy sources, while the Netherlands is lagging behind. This difference is often attributed to the fact that the German government has been much more effective in implementing smart policies that support the production of renewable energies. This thesis asks the question of why this policy developed in Germany and not in The Netherlands, and takes both a structure and an agency approach in an attempt to answer this. The structural analysis clearly shows that, although not all hypotheses were confirmed, the structure of the policy process matters, as some structural characteristics of the policy networks showed a clear relation to policy outcome. The Agency analysis showed that German success can be attributed to an unusual coalition of niche players that obtained transformative power and took over the policy process, while in the Netherlands the dominance of regime players over policy making was retained. Above all, this research displayed a clear duality between agency and structure, as they codetermine each other as a process of change over time. This provides some modes theoretical insights into how policy chance could be better understood. Moreover, this understanding can be translated to some concrete recommendation to how Dutch niche players could proceed in their attempts to fasten the transition towards renewable energy.