This article rejuvenates the power structure perspective in the analysis of policy networks. At the theoretical level it links policy analysis to the debate on post-democracies and power-sharing. Whereas the latter perspective emphasizes a great variety of democratic political systems and corresponding structures of power sharing, the former makes the assertion that the current political-economic development would lead to an erosion of democratic structures. Both frameworks are used to check the post-democracy hypothesis within the German policy-making context. The paper proceeds in three steps. After a short outline of the debate on post-democracy it compares empirical analyses of policy networks in Germany in the early 1980s and in the 2010s. The result of this empirical analysis then is interpreted in a power structure and power-sharing perspective. It concludes that the policy actor system in current environmental and energy policy-making in Germany is hardly reducible to the post-democratic power dyad consisting of only the business elite and the governmental executive, but is much more differentiated and pluralistic.
Towards Post-Democracy or Complex Power Sharing? Environmental Policy Networks in Germany
V. Schneider , & B. Eberlein
Complex Democracy. Varieties, Crises, and Transformations
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