Climate change policy networks: Why and how to compare them across countries

Tuomas Ylä-Anttila, Antti Gronow, Mark C.J. Stoddart, Jeffrey Broadbent, Volker Schneider, David B. Tindall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Why do some countries enact more ambitious climate change policies than others? Macro level economic and political structures, such as the economic weight of fossil fuel industries, play an important role in shaping these policies. So do the national science community and the national culture of science. But the process by which such macro-structural factors translate into political power and national climate change policies can be analyzed through focussing on meso level policy networks. The Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) research project has studied climate change policy networks in twenty countries since 2007. Along with some findings, this paper presents some methodological challenges faced and the solutions developed in the course of the project. After a presentation of the project, we first outline some practical challenges related to conducting cross-national network surveys and solutions to overcome them, and present the solutions adopted during the project. We then turn to challenges related to causal explanation of the national policy differences, and propose Qualitative Comparative Analysis as one solution for combining different levels of analysis (macro and meso) and different data types (quantitative, network and qualitative).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Academy of Finland (Grants 266685 and 298819 ); the Kone Foundation (Grant 085319 ); and the US National Science Foundation (Grant BCS-08270069 ).


  • Climate change
  • Comparative politics
  • Methodology
  • Social network analysis


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