Selectivities at Work: Climate Concerns in the Midst of Corporatist Interests. The Case of Austria


Despite legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and good pre-conditions for progressive climate action, emissions in Austria are on the rise. This article explores the reasons why climate change policy is so ineffective in Austria. We show that the social partnership has contributed significantly to the standstill in renewable energy production and the rejection of more ambitious reduction targets concerning greenhouse gas emissions, and consider the role of experts and expertise in climate change policies. The ineffectiveness of climate policy in Austria is largely due to corporatist actors who often act like an ex-ante filter or selective mechanism for what is politically acceptable or possible and what is not. Climate change is for the most part successfully kept off the political agenda and (climate sceptical) politicization does not take place. Insights from the literature on corporatism are enhanced by the concepts of strategic and epistemic selectivity to analyse not only access to the state terrain but also the domination of specific knowledge forms, problem perceptions, and narratives over others.

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Brand, U. and Pawloff, A. (2014) Selectivities at Work: Climate Concerns in the Midst of Corporatist Interests. The Case of Austria. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 780-795. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.59080.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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