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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Crossnational divergence in post-OPEC embargo energy policy : foreign policy capacity in Germany and the United States Barnum, Forrest Scott Lewis


This thesis explains the origins of the differing domestic energy policy regimes in the United States and Germany. Using historical process tracing, the author argues that policy diverged following the 1973-74 Energy embargo. This crisis allowed space for considerable policy innovation in the two nations, but Germany was able to carry out far more extensive domestic reforms. The author argues Germany had a much greater incentive to pursue these often costly policies thanks to its limited foreign policy capacities. This hypothesis is tested using a methodology derived from Alexander George and Andrew Bennett’s work on case studies and a theoretical model based on Terry Karl and Paul Pierson’s analysis of critical junctures and path dependence. The United States, by contrast, was able to execute a solution based on securing external supplies. The thesis concludes by exploring the implications for contemporary energy policy.

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