Modelling National Environmental Capacities



Dr. Nana Künkel

Financial support:

Fritz Thyssen Foundation


Oct 01, 2005 — Nov 30, 2007

Contact Person:

Dr. Klaus Jacob


Project description

Against the background of the academic debate on potentials and limits of national policymaking in global multi-level governance the project seeks to determine the environmental capacity of industrialised countries with the help of formal methods, including statistical modeling. The project is expected to produce new and comprehensive insights regarding the question, which possibilities for successful national policy-making are left, which capacities are needed and what conditions apply for their successful utilisation. The project will gather the consolidated findings from the fields of Comparative Policy Analysis and International Relations and will test their explanatory power in a rigid, systematic way.
The project thus aims at exploring the basic conditions for a theoretically sophisticated but also sound empirically causal model of governmental action in environmental policy. At the same time, potentials and limits of different modelling strategies will be scrutinized. Beyond the discussions in political science the results of the project will be of use also for other disciplines that try to model efforts and effects of governmental action. This holds tru for economcis, but also for several disciplines of the natural sciences.
The modell should enable us to explain pioneering behavior of nation-states, but also portray missing capacities, and moreover also explain the loss of pioneering roles. Furthermore, it should enable us to seriously asssess the usefullness of different modeling techniques for the quantitative analysis of environmental capacities.


Jacob, Klaus and Volkery, Axel (2005): Modelling Capacities for Environmental Policy-Making in Global Environmental Politics, Paper presented at the 46th Annual International Studies Association Convention, March 1-5, 2005, Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Jacob, Klaus; Künkel, Nana; Volkery, Axel (2006):  Institutional capacities and environmental policy performance in industrialized and developing countries – different or all the same?, Paper to be presented at the 47th Annual International Studies Association Convention, March 22-25, 2006, San Diego.