Themen für Abschlussarbeiten
Bachelor- und Masterarbeitsthemen
Das Institut für Forst- und Umweltpolitik bietet Ihnen in seinen Arbeitsbereichen ein breites Spektrum an Themen an, um Ihre Abschlussarbeiten zu verfassen. Bitte beachten Sie auch die Angebote der Arbeitsgebiete Environmental Governance und Wald- und Forstgeschichte.
Im Bereich Wald- und Ressourcenpolitik erwarten wir von Ihnen ein überdurchschnittliches Interesse an politischen und sozialen Fragestellungen.
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Die Mitarbeiter des Instituts für Forst- und Umweltpolitik sind auch grundsätzlich offen für eigene Themenvorschläge. Nähere Informationen dazu geben Prof. Dr. Karl-Reinhard Volz, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml (firstname.lastname@example.org) und Dr. Georg Winkel (email@example.com).
Bitte sprechen Sie Ihre Themenwünsche frühzeitig mit uns ab. Um eine intensive Betreuung der einzelnen Arbeiten gewährleisten zu können, kann nur eine begrenzte Anzahl von Themen vergeben werden.
Themenbereich Wald- und Naturschutzpolitik
"European Union’s environmental governance of global illegal timber harvesting and trade"
Problem statement and objectives:
Inspired by the US Lacey Act, the European Union’ Parliament and Council adopted in 2010 a Community policy aiming to counter the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products and regulate the entry and marketing of timber products from third countries, mostly tropical and Eastern European countries. The European Unions’ Regulation No 995/2010, known as EU (Illegal) Timber Regulation (EU-TR), laid down prohibits of placing illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market and obligations of economic operators who place timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise “due diligence”. The application of the EU-TR in the member states started on 3rd March 2013.
This novel policy development is however puzzling and represent an interesting case to study major policy and governance changes. We know that the European Parliament passed the EU-TR with widespread political support earning 644 votes in favor, 25 votes against, and 16 abstentions. Almost all EU’ Member States supported the Regulation in the Council, with the exception of Sweden and Portugal. A high demand for illegal timber in combination with weak national laws to prevent the importation of illegal wood drove the EU to take serious measures and to adopt this piece of legislation on the EU level.
Research focus and questions:
Theoretically and empirically, little is known about the political and socio-economic drivers behind the adoption and development of the EU-TR. The role of leading environmental groups and business interests and their strategies to influence EU institutions to adopt and implement the EU-TR remains largely unexplored. The thesis should hence address the following questions: how and why the EU-TR was adopted? How has this environmental regulatory policy with market implications recently developed?
A very plausible and novel hypothesis for the widespread political support can be formulated from a political economy governance perspective: the cooperation of “unholy” coalition of environmental groups and large forest-based industry backed by policy brokers from member states’ authorities and international consultants is likely to have been instrumental for the adoption of major policy changes and recent developments. In other words, the EU Regulation could have provided for a compelling combination of environmental groups’ concerns about negative environmental consequences resulting from the use and importation of illegally logged wood and the business interests’ needs for leveling the playing field in the timber sector by regulating unfair competition from companies that use cheap illegally sourced timber.
The topic, as described above, is suitable for an MSc thesis. Detailed questions could be explored as a BSc thesis.
Methods: Qualitative interviews with key informants, analysis of policy documents, process trac-ing.
Cooperation: EU Parliament, Commission, Council and several key stakeholder groups in Brus-sels; Yale University, USA; University of Oxford, UK.
Contact: Dr. Metodi Sotirov, Tel: 203-37-19; Metodi.firstname.lastname@example.org
"Payments for Ecosystem Services: Selling off or valuation of nature?"
Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are frequently discussed as an economic tool to make users of biodiversity actually pay for the services they receive (e.g., carbon sequestration, fresh water, pristine environments). However, the political discourse on PES shows manifold faces: On the one hand, PES are considered as one of the most promising instruments to generate financing for protected areas and are already successfully implemented in some countries, e.g., Costa Rica. On the other hand, some stakeholders criticise the concept of PES. For instance indigenous peoples’ organizations argue that nature should not be judged from an economic point of view and are also afraid that the generated resources will not benefit the people who should actually safeguard the concerned environmental services. Moreover, there is a plethora of supporters and opponents of PES that became apparent at the preparatory meetings for COP9 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Goal and Method:
This thesis analyzes the discourses of the supporters and opponents of PES with the aim to generate proposals on how to reconcile these two perspectives. Discourse analysis; interviews to understand the underlying motivations of actors
Sabine Reinecke, Tel: 203-3717, Sabine.Reinecke@ifp.uni-freiburg.de
"National level policy changes as regards the implementation of the EU Natura 2000 (biodiversity) policy as regards forests"
Following the progress in the European integration process the impact of the European Union politics and policy on national policy-making is increasing in last years. In the academic literature, this phenomenon is characterised as Europeanization. Consequently, this latter concept is gaining increasing scholarly attention, mainly in the domain of European and political studies. Accordingly, recent research has emerged to address interesting theoretical and empirical questions of Europeanization as regards diverse policy domains (e.g. environmental, economic, social policy). Yet, in the domain of forest biodiversity governance this phenomenon has received only little attention to date. What is more, there is the need for research into the interplay between Europeanization and policy changes to make a contribution to the state-of-the-art Europeanization and policy change literature.
- Research goals/focus: description and (comparative) analysis of changes in policy objectives and instruments and/or discourses and/or institutions and/or actor networks and/or formal and informal political resources and strategies and their interplay at national level following Europeanization impacts
- Possible case studies/countries: France and/or Germany and/or Spain and/or the Netherlands and/or UK (priority would be given to comparative analysis between Germany and UK or Germany and France or Germany and Spain)
- Methods: qualitative or quantitative content analysis, expert interviews, policy analysis based on policy change and/ or policy instruments theories
- Language: English and/or German and/or French and/or Spanish
Dr. Metodi Sotirov, Tel.: 0761-203-3719, email@example.com