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Thomas Bernauer

Thomas Bernauer
ETH Zurich | ETH Zürich · Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences

Prof. Dr. (PhD)

About

317
Publications
64,549
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Introduction
My research group and I are based at the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) and the Institute of Science, Technology and Policy (ISTP) at ETH Zürich. We investigate environmental issues, in Switzerland and across the globe, based on theories and methods of political economy and political science. I encourage you to visit our website for further information https://ib.ethz.ch/.

Publications

Publications (317)
Article
Environmental protection efforts commonly make use of two types of government interventions: command and control policies (C&C) and market-based instruments (MBIs). While MBIs are favored for their economic efficiency, visible prices on pollution may generate political backlash. We examine whether citizens are more likely to support policies that t...
Preprint
Distributional implications of public goods provision may affect the ability of societies to provide these. Particularly, localized provision costs may result in opposition in the vicinity of provision sites, reducing provision levels and/or efficiency (“not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) challenge). We examine mass public support on policy provision in t...
Technical Report
Das Forschungsprojekt «Co-Creating Mobility Hubs» leistet einen Beitrag zur Umsetzung der Strategie 2030 der SBB, die festhält, dass Bahnhöfe zu Verkehrsdrehscheiben und das Bahnhofumfeld zu lebenswerten und nachhaltigen Stadtquartieren entwickelt werden sollen. Somit unterstützt die SBB die gewünschte Verdichtung nach innen und leisten einen Beitr...
Article
Full-text available
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) are widely regarded as crucial to decarbonising the transport sector and achieving the Paris Agreement goals. Yet, there is much political controversy over how to accelerate the uptake of BEVs, which is currently still rather slow in most countries. The most important controversy concerns the extent to which consumer...
Article
Full-text available
Stricter regulation of food waste reduction is widely presumed to increase food prices, which could render its implementation politically unfeasible. Here we empirically tested whether specific policy framing, design and feedback could help ensure public support despite potential food price increases. We used survey experiments with 3,329 citizens...
Preprint
In the past few decades, most high-income countries have improved environmental and labor conditions on their respective territory while consumption has strongly increased. One main enabler is international trade. The latter allows for the geographic dissociation of consumption benefits from adverse production impacts. Green economy strategies are...
Preprint
Vastly increased international trade over the past few decades has resulted in an ever larger geographical spread in the environmental impacts of local consumption. Particularly in the case of high-income countries, a large share of their total environmental footprint of local consumption now materializes in places far beyond the respective nationa...
Article
Full-text available
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) are essential in most countries’ transition towards an efficient, cleaner and low-carbon transport system. BEV technology has been making rapid progress, but low market uptake poses major challenges for governments and industry. Based on the PRISMA framework (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Book
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Chapter
The fifth, comprehensively revised edition of this introduction to political science covers the most important concepts, methods and research findings of this academic discipline. The first part deals with the research process, from theory development to empirical analysis. The second part focuses on key areas of research, such as those focusing on...
Article
Full-text available
Electrification of private motorised transport is one of the most effective pathways to net-zero carbon emissions in the road transport sector. However, adoption rates of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are still relatively low in most advanced industrialised countries. One of the most widely discussed but so far understudied potential obstacles t...
Article
Full-text available
Policy processes are affected by how policymakers assess public support for a policy. But is public support for a given policy itself affected by characteristics of the policy process, such as cooperation or confrontation amongst policy actors? Specifically, if different branches of government hold conflicting positions on a given policy, do clashe...
Article
Full-text available
While delegation of policymaking authority from citizens to parliament is the most defining characteristic of representative democracy, public demand for delegating such authority away from legislature/government to technocrats or back to citizens appears to have increased. Drawing on spatial models of voting, we argue that the distance between ind...
Article
When considering public support for domestic policies that contribute to a global public good, such as climate change mitigation, the behavior of other countries is commonly regarded as pivotal. Using survey experiments in China and the United States we find that other countries’ behavior matters for public opinion, but in a contingent manner. When...
Article
Full-text available
Normative theories of democracy agree that public demand should be the main guide in policymaking. But positive theories and related empirical research disagree about the extent to which this holds true in reality. We address this debate with an empirical focus on climate change policy. Specifically, we are interested in whether observable variatio...
Article
Full-text available
Strong public support is a prerequisite for ambitious and thus costly climate change mitigation policy, and strong public concern over climate change is a prerequisite for policy support. Why, then, do most public opinion surveys indicate rather high levels of concern and rather strong policy support, while de facto mitigation efforts in most count...
Article
Full-text available
We contribute to the growing literature on how political support for domestic policies that contribute to global collective goods is impacted by other countries’ policy actions. To do so, we focus on carbon taxation, one of the most important yet contested policy instruments for mitigating global warming, in the world’s third largest economy, Japan...
Preprint
About one-third of all food produced for human consumption worldwide is wasted, particularly in high-income countries. Reducing this waste is key to decreasing negative environmental impacts from the food sector and increasing food security in developing countries. Yet, achieving food waste reduction is challenging. It is widely presumed that effor...
Article
Do environmental implications of international trade influence public support for economic globalization? And under what conditions do environmental considerations shape individuals’ trade attitudes and policy preferences? In this study, we examine the microfoundations of the trade–environment nexus based on survey-embedded experiments in six OECD...
Article
Strategic issue framing is widely regarded as an effective communication strategy to alter public opinion and citizens’ policy support. However, it is unclear to what extent strategic framing can increase support for ambitious demand-side actions and policies that make the cost of mitigation perceptible in citizens’ everyday lives. Taking an explor...
Article
Environmental policy is touching on ever more aspects of corporate and individual behavior, and there is much debate over what combinations of top-down (government-imposed) and bottom-up (voluntary private sector) measures to use. In democratic societies, citizens’ preferences over such combinations are crucial because they shape the political mand...
Preprint
Ambitious climate policy requires acceptance by millions of people whose daily lives would be affected in costly ways. How to get the mass public on board to prevent a political backlash against costly climate policies? Many scholars regard ‘framing’ as an effective communication strategy for changing climate beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In c...
Article
Existing research demonstrates why farmers demand subsidies, but remains ambiguous as to why consumers/taxpayers support or rather do not oppose such subsidies. We approach this puzzle from two angles: how sensitive are citizens to cost implications of agricultural subsidies, and what is their “value function” with respect to agricultural policy? W...
Article
Full-text available
Millions of smallholder farmers in low-income countries are highly vulnerable to food-supply shocks, and reducing this vulnerability remains challenging in view of climatic changes. Restrictions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic produced a severe supply-side shock in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, including through frictions in agric...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Hohe CO2-Emissionen sowie Lärm- und Luftbelastung durch den motorisierten Verkehr stel-len Herausforderungen dar, welche in den kommenden Jahren dringendst bewältigt werden müssen. Elektrofahrzeuge (EF) können dazu einen Beitrag leisten. Allerdings ist der Anteil an EF bei den Neuzulassungen von Personenwagen in der Schweiz und auch im Kanton Züric...
Article
The stage in which countries formally decide on whether to participate in (i.e., ratify) international agreements is crucial to global governance efforts. The reason is that, by and large, international agreements with greater participation are more likely to contribute to effective problem solving. We study the role procedural design characteristi...
Article
Full-text available
Societal efforts towards greening the economy are typically accompanied by controversy over whether voluntary initiatives by firms or government regulation are more effective to that end. Recent research argues that public opinion plays an important role in this regard because citizens’ preferences are crucial when democratic policy-makers decide....
Research
Full-text available
Im Folgenden werden die Ergebnisse der dritten Welle des Schweizer Umweltpanels präsentiert. Das Schweizer Umweltpanel ist eine Panelbefragung (die gleichen Personen werden wiederholt befragt), die die ETH in Kooperation mit dem Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU) zwei Mal im Jahr durchführt. In der dritten Welle beantworteten die Teilnehmenden Fragen zum...
Article
Public opinion can often become a key challenge to international cooperation efforts. In their attempt to garner support for their position, stakeholders fight for the hearts and minds of the public based on arguments about the consequences of different policy options. But to what extent do individuals’ preferences change when exposed to such infor...
Article
Full-text available
Decarbonizing the transportation sector is crucial to limiting global warming, but faces severe political feasibility challenges due to widespread opposition by those who incur the costs. With respect to private motorized vehicles, which account for the largest share of emissions from transportation, various studies show that pull measures, such as...
Preprint
We shed new light on a long-standing question in political science: when confronted with costly policy-choices, do citizens form their preferences based on material (economic) concerns or other-regarding motivations, such as the societal distribution of costs, and how these are moderated by political ideology. Using the case of carbon taxation, a w...
Article
Full-text available
Existing research offers a nuanced understanding of the conditions under which firms can gain a competitive advantage through environmental business conduct. However, we know quite little about whether such action can also generate benefits for firms induced by political action, such as benefits associated with public procurement, (softer) regulato...
Preprint
Environmental policy is touching on ever more aspects of corporate and individual behavior, and there is much debate over what combinations of top-down (government-imposed) and bottom-up (voluntary private sector) measures to use. In post-industrial, democratic societies, citizens’ preferences over such combinations are crucial, because they shape...
Preprint
Evermore apparent environmental impacts of vastly increased international trade have been met both by public backlash against further trade liberalization and by efforts at greening international trade. Because public support is essential to environmental and trade policy-making alike, we examine the trade-environment nexus from a public opinion pe...
Article
Almost all regulatory policy stops at the national border. Thus, when conducting business abroad, the behaviour of firms is regulated by their host, not their home country. Yet, international institutions have issued (non-binding) codes of conduct on social/environmental aspects of firm behaviour, and various high-income countries discuss how to im...
Article
Full-text available
Conventional wisdom holds that public support for international cooperation is crucial to its viability and effectiveness. Elite debates focus heavily on procedural and outcome characteristics of international cooperation when assessing the latter. However, we know very little about whether and how citizens’ evaluation of international cooperation...
Article
Full-text available
Ending hunger is a key goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015. This goal notwithstanding, the prevalence of severe food insecurity of the world’s population has increased. It is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the seasonality of harvests leads to fluctuations in food insecurity, particularly in the lean season, th...
Article
The use of information provision has been criticized as an ineffective way to increase support for evidence-based environmental policies, but it remains a dominant strategy among policy communicators. Using a survey experiment on climate change and genetically modified food (GMO) policy preferences in Germany and the United States (N = 3,000 total)...
Article
Populism and its rhetoric are on the rise. Political actors across different ideological camps and parties are employing dispositional blame attribution, emphasizing the non-responsiveness of ‘corrupt elites’ to the needs of ‘good and honest’ people. In this paper, we focus on one specific and common area of blame attribution; climate change. In pa...
Article
Full-text available
Redesigning food production and consumption is key to limiting global warming, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. Yet, transforming the food system may involve political feasibility problems, as potentially effective policy interventions interfere with citizens’ daily lives. Here, we show that policy packaging—the systematic bundling of different...
Article
Unsustainable use of freshwater resources worldwide creates enormous challenges for human societies populating these natural systems, and these challenges are likely to grow with climate change. Will societies respond with increased cooperation to manage freshwater resources more sustainably or will there be more conflict over this scarce but vital...
Preprint
Societal efforts towards greening the economy are typically accompanied by controversy over whether voluntary initiatives by firms or government regulation are more effective to that end. Recent research shows that public opinion plays an important role in this regard because citizens’ preferences are crucial when democratic policy-makers decide. W...
Article
Initiated in 2002, the International Environmental Agreements Data Base (IEADB) catalogs the texts, memberships, and design features of over 3,000 multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements. Using IEADB data, we create a comprehensive review of the evolution of international environmental law, including how the number, subjects, and state...
Article
Although automation of motorized vehicles has the potential to transform public transport as we know it, prospective users are still skeptical. Trials with shared autonomous vehicles (AVs) offer an opportunity to assess future demand in a more realistic setting. In the context of an autonomous shuttle service trial operating on public road-space in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Due to the potential advantages of self-driving shuttle buses for individual travellers, the general population, and to the transportation system as a whole, it is essential to monitor public perceptions of this particular technological development. The execution of test runs with self-driving buses presents an excellent opportunity to do so. Along...
Preprint
Vastly increased transnational business activity in recent decades has been accompanied by controversy over how to cope with its social and environmental impacts, particularly in the context of firms from high-income countries operating in less developed nations. The most prominent policy response thus far consists of new international soft law, e....
Preprint
Almost all regulatory policy stops at the national border. Thus, when conducting business abroad, the behaviour of firms is regulated by their host, not home country. Yet, international institutions have issued (non-binding) codes of conduct on social/environmental aspects of firm behaviour, and various high-income countries discuss how to improve...
Article
Full-text available
Recent instances of political backlash against global governance efforts as well as conventional wisdom suggest that there is a link between shifting decision-making authority from the domestic to the global level, on the one hand, and the legitimacy of global governance institutions as perceived by citizens and other stakeholders on the other. We...
Article
Full-text available
In the original publication of the article, there were few mistakes in the text, tables and figure. The corrected text has been presented with this correction.
Article
Can policy-packaging increase public support for costly policies? Insights from a choice experiment on policies against vehicle emissions – CORRIGENDUM - Michael Wicki, Robert Alexander Huber, Thomas Bernauer
Article
Novel approaches to service bundling in the passenger transportation market are enabled by technology driven innovations and give rise to so called Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concepts. These approaches promise to increase the accessibility of existing public transportation services, possibly decrease car ownership rates and lower the environmenta...
Article
Does trade liberalization lead to the outsourcing of pollution from industrialized countries to developing countries? According to the pollution-haven hypothesis, international trade is a key channel through which richer countries can geographically dissociate consumption from production of goods. We examine whether and how trade liberalization via...
Article
Full-text available
Carbon taxes are widely regarded as a potentially effective and economically efficient policy instrument for decarbonizing the global energy supply and thus limiting global warming. The main obstacle is political feasibility because of opposition from citizens and industry. Earmarking revenues from carbon taxation for spending that benefits citizen...
Article
Full-text available
The main obstacle to making the transportation sector ecologically more sustainable is political feasibility. Effective policy-interventions usually encounter strong public opposition as they interfere in costly ways with people's daily lives, unveiling a dilemma between political feasibility and environmental policy effectiveness. Evidencing the e...
Article
Public support is usually a precondition for the adoption and successful implementation of costly policies. We argue that such support is easier to achieve with policy-packages that incorporate primary and ancillary measures. We specifically distinguish command-and-control and market-based measures as primary measures and argue that the former will...
Chapter
Rees, Wackernagel, and others are shedding new light on environmental burden-shifting processes in the global economy. Distinguishing consumption from production-related ecological impacts in the context of international trade could change our conventional territorial notions of what international environmental externalities are. This, in turn, wou...