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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar via Zoom - Federico Holm

Plan to join via Zoom Federico Holm's graduate exit seminar on June 11, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Federico will present, "Environmental Policy Across Space and Time: A Comparative Approach to the Study of Advocacy Coalitions in Climate Change and Energy Policy in the United States."


Individual and group behavior in environmental policy-making is conditioned by myriad contextual variables that define the opportunities and resources available to policy actors. These parameters partly define the policies actors will support and seek out. Despite general agreement of the significance of contextual variables regarding subsystem affairs, our understanding of this dynamic remains unfinished. Theoretically rooted in the Advocacy Coalition Framework, this dissertation is structured around this fundamental gap in our knowledge and asks the question: how do contextual parameters affect the behavior and structure of coalitions and the policy actors in them? Specifically, I focus on two important contextual variables that affect policy actors: changes in systemwide conditions, and the distribution of power in the subsystem. My objective is to advance our understanding of this relationship by looking at two conflict-prone policy areas in the United States: climate change and hydraulic fracturing. In doing so, I also revisit three core types of policy actors the literature has overlooked: material groups, purposive groups, and brokers. For each one, I explore their limitations as theoretical constructs and propose new ways to study their policy behavior in the context of highly conflictive environmental policy arenas. The empirical studies rely on a comparative research strategy and use two novel datasets of actors’ participation in environmental policymaking to understand the impact of contextual factors over actors’ behavior and strategies. I use a combination of textual analysis, descriptive statistics, and generalized linear models to study the differences between groups and to explore the mechanisms that connect internal subsystem affairs and external systemwide conditions. 

Advisor: Dr. Ramiro Berardo