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Multi-level Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology: Determinants and Actor Strategies in Germany

Hartung, Ulrich

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This thesis investigates the regulation of agricultural biotechnology in the multi-level system of the European Union focussing specifically on the Federal Republic of Germany. In particular, it aims to provide an improved understanding of the determinants underlying regulatory action on subnational levels and certain strategies adopted by political parties and private companies to maximize their respective interests in the unpopular and contested field of agricultural biotechnology. Based on various data sources and the combination of different theoretical and methodical approaches, the thesis provides several important insights. It shows that German municipalities regulate the cultivation of genetically modified crops for various reasons, but most importantly because of functional motivations to prevent negative socio-economic effects or impacts on the environment and human health. For the regional level, the thesis reveals among other things that strong environmental interest groups have positively conditioned German states’ symbolic policy-making, but with seemingly no effect on the adoption of hard regulations. With regards to the actor strategies, it proves that parties, here the German CDU, strategically de-emphasize their unpopular positions on green genetic engineering for various reasons including coalition formation prospects with B’90/Grüne and increasingly diverging policy preferences of their regional branches. Finally, the thesis demonstrates that biotechnology firms make strategic use of specific opportunity structures by lobbying institutionally closed and favorably embedded policy venues at member state level aiming thereby to promote the de-regulation of new plant breeding technologies in the European Union.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Tosun, Prof. Dr. Jale
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 16 December 2019
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 14:09
Date: 2020
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Institute of Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords: Grüne Gentechnik; Regulierung; Multi-level Governance; Deutschland; Europäische Union
Additional Information: This thesis was supported by German Federal Environmental Foundation
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