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Von der Wasserkrise des Industriezeitalters zur EU-Umweltpolitik : Interessenaushandlung und Problemlösungsfähigkeit von Sondergesetzlichen Wasserverbänden in Deutschland seit 1900

From the water crisis of the industrial era to the environmental policy of the European Union : negotiation of interests and problem-solving abilities of water boards in Germany since 1900
[journal article]

Bernhardt, Christoph; Hüesker, Frank

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Abstract "This article discusses the problem-solving capacity of river basin cooperatives in German water policy in historical and current cases. The article builds an institutional theory and refers to the most important Water Framework Directive (WDF) of the European Union in 2000 and works back to the emergence of the first agencies in Germany around 1900. The article shows that these agencies organized a sophisticated institutional compromise between different groups of water users such as mining companies and public authorities. The Prussian state set up a complex legal framework of representation and negotiation of conflicting interests, as the article shows with the cases of the Schwarze Elster and the Erft cooperative. The second part of the paper discusses the problem-solving capacity of these old institutional structures for today's problems such as environmental degradation and urban shrinkage. It states, by analyzing the cases of the Erft and the Rur cooperatives, that the complex mechanisms of financing and decision-making provide protection of water resources and broad agreement amongst the actors involved. The cooperatives are expanding their activities in the context of the WFD and can be regarded to be an appropriate instrument of water policy in the early 21st century." (author's abstract)
Keywords German Empire; Weimar Republic (Germany, 1918-33); Third Reich; Federal Republic of Germany; interest; conciliation of interests; interests; water; water management; interest group; negotiation; EU policy; problem solving; environmental policy; interest group policy
Classification Ecology, Environment; Special areas of Departmental Policy; Social History, Historical Social Research
Document language German
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 288-314
Journal Historical Social Research, 38 (2013) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works