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Explaining Differences in the Performance of Clean Air Policies: an international and interregional comparative study

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On the basis of a large international comparative study of implementation policies from 14 different regional implementation systems (RIS) from the Federal Republic of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Netherlands, we first tried to identify the impact of regional policies in terms of their capacity to influence the behaviour of individual emitters within selected local implementation areas (LIA). For each of the 14 regions we selected two to three LIAs with different structures of industrial and domestic SO2 emitters. We aimed at having one ofthe three LIAs as a metropolitan area, the second one as a heavily industrialised area and the third one with a somehow mixed emitters structure. Within each of these local areas we tried to compare changes over time in the local ambient air quality (‘immission’ data in the field of sulphur dioxide — SO2), relating these to the total amount of emission produced by local emitters. In a second step we tried to find out, by means of interviews conducted with the main emitters, the different motives behind observed changes in their behaviour.

The authors would like to thank Michael Hill from SAUS for the help he gave us in revising the English of this article.

The comparative research was funded by the German Volkswagen Foundation and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The concept of the research reported here is presented in: P. Knoepfel, H. Weidner and K. Hanf: Illternational Comparative Analysis of Program Formulation and Implementation in SO2 Air Pollution Colltrol Policies in the EC Countries and Switzerland. Analytical Framework and Research Guidelines for the national research teams, Berlin (HUG, Sciencecenter) June 1980. A short version of this framework has been published by P. Knoepfel ‘Conceiving Comparative Policy Analysis. Implementation of Air Quality Improvement Programs’, in Architecture and Behaviour 1 (1980/1981), St. Saphorin (Georgi) 1982, p 287–305. The individual country-reports as well as the comparative results of this study are published in a German version: P. Knoepfel, H. Weidner, Luftreinhaltepolitik bei stationaren Quellen, 6 Vol., Berlin (edition SIGMA) 1985, in press.

The national research teams were composed by Bruno Dente and Rudi Lewanski (Italy); Volker Prittwitz, Helmut Schreiber and Robert Brammer (Federal Republic of Germany); Michael Hill and Patricia Garrard (England); Corinne Larrue, Richard Darbera and Henrique Magalhaes (France); Kenneth Hanf, Theo van der Tak and Theo Toonen (Netherlands).

Some early results of the study were published in English by the authors in Policy and Politics, Vol. 10 No. 1(1982) P 85–109 ‘Formulation and Implementation of Air Quality Control Programs: Patterns of Interest Consideration’ and in P. Downing, K. Hanf (eds) International Comparisons in Implementing Pollution Laws. Boston, The Hague, Dordrecht, Lancaster (Kluwer-Nijhoft) 1983, p 191–211, ‘Implementing Air Quality Control Programs in Europe: Some Results of a Comparative Study’.

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