Beliefs, Interests and Relational Positions of German Business in Climate Policy-Making

Volker Schneider


The paper will present the results of an empirical study of the organizational network in German shaping climate policy in the years of 2011-2012. The policy network consists of a broad array of actors from the political system, the science system, civil society actors and also to a large extent of business actors. Business interests are represented by a variety of organizational forms, ranging from large companies from various sectors (energy suppliers, industry, banks and insurance companies), to different trade and industry associations, corporate think tanks and even social-movement-type "business initiatives". The empirical analysis will not only describe the profiles of beliefs, interests, policy and specific forms of involvement of these organizational actors, but also their positions in various relational structures such as information exchange, cooperation and influence reputation. Various analytical methods of social network analysis such as cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, centrality and subgroup analysis will be applied to demonstrate the complexity of economic interests in modern politics. These patterns of German business in the increasingly important policy area for climate protection will then be confronted with general structural hypotheses and relational propositions of predominant theories of organized business and its roles and positions in politics and policy-making.

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