Environmental administration in six European states: Secular convergence or national distinctiveness?
AbstractTo what extent has environmental administration in Europe been shaped by common secular forces or by distinctive national contexts? Middle range theories of the policy process suggest competing answers to this question, with some implying the likelihood of convergence in administrative structures and others suggesting persistent national distinctiveness. Using data on Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, we construct a measure of administrative concentration in each country. From this measure we assess the extent of convergence over time among the six nations. We argue that national context is a more important influence than common secular trends, and we identify in each state the political dynamics behind the national pattern. The symbolic role of administrative reorganization is thereby highlighted in the politics of environmental policy.