Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit
Tel: + 49 761 203-3712
Sabine Dehn
Tel: + 49 761 203-3713
Fax: + 49 761 203-3705
Professur für Forst- und Umweltpolitik
Tennenbacher Str. 4 (4 OG)
D- 79106 Freiburg
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Summer School 7


Summer School 7

Forest and Environmental Policy Research: From Theory to Method and Back 

Date: 12.09 - 15.09.2017
Location: University House on Schauinsland (black forest) close to Freiburg, Germany
Participation: limited to 20 participants
Target Group: This course is specifically developed for and targeted at PhD researchers pursuing studies on forest or environmental policy and governance. The summer school’s contents are suitable for PhD researchers in various phases of their scientific work and academic studies. Exceptionally highly motivated Master students from the research field of forest and/or environmental policy and governance are welcome to apply as well.

Coordinator and Lecturers:
Coordinating team: Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Dr. Sylvia Kruse, Dr. Metodi Sotirov
Main Instructor: Prof. Dr. Margaret Shannon,
Further instructors: Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Dr. Sylvia Kruse, Dr. Sina Leipold, Dr. Sabine Reinecke, Dr. Tobias Schulz (WSL), Dr. Andy Selter, Dr. Metodi Sotirov, Dr. Roderich von Detten and others
The Summer School is organized by IUFRO Division 9 Forest Policy and Economics as Side Events to the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress 2017 in Freiburg, Germany 
Academic research on forest and environmental policy and governance sometimes seeks to test or explore a theoretical perspective and sometimes an empirical puzzle motivates the research. Typically, research on policy and governance takes a pragmatic approach, meaning that researchers are interested in a specific problem and useful results.  Regardless, the first step is always to develop a research design that is consistent in terms of the theory, methodology, methods, and desired results.  
Developing an appropriate research plan requires understanding the range of theories available for studying policy and governance in forest and environmental policy.  This is the first goal of this summer school – what are the larger classifications of theory?  The second goal is to link appropriate methodologies and methods to different research designs and theories.  Whether the research goal is to test or generate theory, the researcher must understand how different relevant theories can explain and understand the research question.  All of this calls for a systematic way of connecting theory to methodology and methodology to theory. 
This summer school aims to provide a platform for examining the inter-linkages between theory and methodology in the research process. By combining lectures from experienced researchers with presentations of the participating PhD and graduate students along with small group work, discussion, and direct interaction with mentors, we hope to enhance the quality of your research on forest and environmental policy and governance.
The course has the following learning aims:
The major aims of the summer school are to enable participants: (1) to better align their theoretical and methodological approaches in within their research design; (2) to clearly justify their distinct research steps, data collection and data analysis; and (3) to learn to better situate their own research in the wider research landscape within and across disciplines and thus to clearly show their contribution to the body of scientific knowledge.
The specific aims of the course are to:
  • Become familiar with the key schools of thought and research approaches in policy and governance research and be able to categorize different theories into these approaches.
  • Identify research questions and apply appropriate methodological approaches for the selected theoretical approach. 
  • Enhance the inter-linkage between theory and methodology in PhD research on forest and environmental policy research, ensuring high quality results and clear contributions to the body of scientific knowledge.
Course structure:
A four-day course in Freiburg proceeded by the preparation of a mandatory short reflection paper about the theoretical and methodological approach of each participant’s research.  This draft reflection paper will be circulated before the course.  During the course, this reflection paper will be the basis for applying the ideas learned during the course. On the final day, all participants will give a presentation of their final product.  This final discussion will allow all participants to share and improve their work.  
This summer school will start with key insights from philosophy of science and the four general approaches to research design, among others experimental; quasi-experimental; correlation-regression, and case study. Next we will explore the five broad schools of thought related to policy and governance research: (i) institutionalism; (ii) rational choice; (ii) interpretative (discourse) theory; (iv) mixed approaches (e.g. discursive institutionalism); and (v) grounded theory. All participants will be asked to identify their basic research design and to locate the theories used in their own research into one of these schools of thought in their draft reflection paper. During the course, we will have small mentoring groups of students and faculty focused on these different schools of thought to allow in-depth discussions. The next step in the course focuses on the transformation from theory to research methodology within a specific research design.  Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies can be applied in most research designs.  This course will present and discuss the main differences between these methodological approaches and how to select proper methods for a specific research design and theoretical approach. With this background, the summer school will focus on identifying suitable methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) related to the schools of thought and research designs. Finally, on the last day the participants will present their improved reflection paper.
Day 1: Arrival at lunch time, welcome address, round of introduction, introduction into philosophy of science, dinner followed by a movie
Day 2: Focus on Theory
  • Introducing the five schools of thought
  • Work in small mentoring groups on theories used by participants,
  • Different theories explaining one empirical case
  • Further developing own draft paper
Day 3: Focus on Methodology
  • From theory to research design and methods
  • Two ways in policy research: qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Group work on the linkages between theory and methods
  • Further developing own draft paper
Day 4: Presentation and Reflection Papers
  • Presentation of individual work with discussion from the whole group
  • Concluding remarks, evaluation
  • Departure after lunch
Practical information:
Costs: 280 Euro
Fees cover costs of accommodation (in shared bedrooms), meals and transport from Freiburg train station; the course will take place in the University House on Schauinsland in the Black Forest
You will receive an invoice once your application has been accepted.
Contact for further information: Dr. Sylvia Kruse:
Important dates:
Application with motivation letter: Deadline April 22th, 2017
Acceptance: May 8th, 2017
Registration: May 19th, 2017
Submitting Draft Paper: July 15th, 2017
Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge