Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

The Policy Process: Multi-Level Climate Governance

Hertie School

Public Policy / Admin

Fall 2020

Prof. Thomas Hickman


This course consists of two interdependent parts. The first part covers key concepts of the policy process and different theoretical approaches relating to the analysis of (multi-level) governance arrangements. In the second part, we will apply these concepts and theoretical approaches to the analysis of responses to the climate crisis at different levels of government. During the course, we will review experiences and lessons learnt from OECD and non-OECD countries and address the following key questions in particular: How has agenda-setting taken place at the global level and in selected national administrations? Who have been the relevant state and non-state actors in this process? How have different national governments reacted and what kinds of instruments for mitigation and adaptation have they applied? Are there tensions emerging between the mitigation commitments of OECD and non-OECD governments? How can we understand policy change and resistance to change, and what have been typical societal conflicts and power struggles unfolding at different levels of government? What has been the role of subnational actors and city networks for addressing climate policies? To what extent have governments considered green growth and low-carbon strategies as possible solutions to tackle the climate crisis?