CONSENSUS aims to improve our understanding of trade-offs and synergies between economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainable development. In so doing, the project applies a selective focus in order to shed light on several issues that are of particular relevance in this respect - both in practical and analytical terms. First, the project places particular emphasis on a systematic analysis of the interlinkage between different levels of economic pressure and social and environmental policy. Second, in line with the political emphasis on better regulation and deregulation, the project applies a highly innovative perspective on policy change and sustainable development. Third, this interlinkage between economic pressure on the one side, and environmental and social sustainability on the other, is analyzed on the basis of a systematic comparison across 25 OECD countries over a period of thirty years (1975-2005). Fourth, this focus offers the opportunity for a comparison of regulatory adjustments across different policy areas. The focus on two 'crucial' policy fields - social and environmental policy - allows us to study whether regulatory responses to economic pressures differ between these areas. Fifth, with regard to environmental and social policy, we focus on those subfields that have been identified as priority areas of sustainable development.



Bauer, Michael W. / Jordan, Andrew / Green-Pedersen, Christoffer / Héritier, Adrienne (Hrsg.) (2012). Dismantling Public Policy: Strategies, Effects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Articles in Journals

Jensen, Carsten / Knill, Christoph / Schulze Kai / Tosun, Jale (2014). Giving Less by Doing More: Solving the Paradox of Retrenchment. Journal of European Public Policy, 21 (4), 528-548.

Bauer, Michael W. / Knill, Christoph (2014). A Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Policy Change: Measurement, Explanation and Strategies of Policy Dismantling. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 16 (1), 28-44.

Knill, Christoph / Schulze, Kai / Tosun, Jale (2012). Regulatory Policy Outputs and Impacts: Exploring a Complex Relationship. Regulation and Governance 6 (4), 427-444.

Knill, Christoph / Heichel, Stephan / Arndt, Daniel (2012). Really a front-runner, really a Straggler? Of environmental leaders and laggards in the European Union and beyond — A quantitative policy perspective. Energy Policy, 48, 36-45.

Holzinger, Katharina / Knill, Christoph / Sommerer, Thomas (2011). Is There Convergence of National Environmental Policies? An Analysis of Policy Outputs in 24 OECD Countries. Environmental Politics 20 (1), 20-41.

Bauer, Michael W. / Knill Christoph (2012). Understanding Policy Dismantling: An Analytical Framework. In: Michael W. Bauer, Andrew Jordan, Christoffer Green-Pedersen und Adrienne Héritier (Hrsg.), Dismantling Public Policy: Strategies, Effects. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 30-56.

Knill, Christoph / Bernauer, Dominik (2012). When the Dismantling of an Ineffective Policy Becomes Increasingly Costly: Default Strategies, Arena-Shifting, and Symbolic Action in German Waste Policy. In: Michael W. Bauer, Andrew Jordan, Christoffer Green-Pedersen und Adrienne Héritier (Hrsg.), Dismantling Public Policy: Strategies, Effects. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 155-175.

Knill, Christoph / Tosun, Jale (2012). Governance Institutions and Policy Implementation in the European Union. In: Jeremy Richardson (Hrsg.), Constructing a Policy-making State? Policy Dynamics in the EU. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 309-333.

Knill, Christoph / Schulze, Kai / Tosun, Jale (2010). Politikwandel und seine Messung in der vergleichenden Staatstätigkeitsforschung: Konzeptionelle Probleme und mögliche Alternativen [Policy Change and Its Measurement in Comparative Policy Analysis: Conceptual Problems and Potential Alternatives]. Politische Vierteljahresschrift 51(3), 409-432. (Volltext)

Knill, Christoph / Tosun, Jale / Bauer, Michael W. (2009). Neglected faces of Europeanization: the differential impact of the EU on the dismantling and expansion of domestic policies. Public Administration 87(3), 519-537.

Knill, C./Tosun, J. (2009). Hierarchy, networks, or markets: how does the EU shape environmental policy adoptions within and beyond its borders? Journal of European Public Policy 16(6), 873-894.

Project Papers

Guidelines for external experts to collect data on social and environmental policy (download)

Coding Manual (download)


CONSENSUS is founded by the EU Commission's Seventh Framework Programme


University of Konstanz / LMU Munich
Prof. Dr. Christoph Knill
Dr. Michael W. Bauer
Dr. Helge Jörgens
Dr. Sophie Schmitt
Dr. Jale Tosun
Dominik Bernauer
Eva-Maria Euchner
Kai Schulze

Freie Universität Berlin
Dr. Per-Olof Busch
Dr. Helge Jörgens

University of East Anglia
Prof. Dr. Andrew Jordan
Dr. John Turnpenny

University of Aarhus
Prof. Dr. Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Flemming Christiansen
Carsten Jensen

Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals
Prof. Dr. Jacint Jordana
Andrea Bianculli
Nicole Jenne

European University Institute
Prof. Dr. Adrienne Héritier
Dr. Sophie Schmitt

Country Experts

Jesse Lambrecht
Centrum voor Milieurecht
Universiteit Gent

Veerle De Maesschalck
Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid
Universiteit Antwerpen

Fleming Juul Christiansen
University of Aarhus

Fleming Juul Christiansen
University of Aarhus

Aurélien Raccah
Law Department
European University Institute (EUI)

Eva-Maria Euchner, Hanna Willemsen & Zacharias Ziegelhöfer
Department of Politics & Management
University of Konstanz

Dr. Yannis Kelemenis
Kelemenis & Co.

Prof. Valentina Bettin
Facoltà di Scienze Politiche
Università degli Studi di Firenze

Dr. María Patricia Kurczyn Villalobos
Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Leticia Quiñones Valadez
Instituto Universitario de Investigación José Ortega y Gasset
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

New Zealand
Dr. M. Claire Dale
Child Poverty Action Group, Aotearoa

Prof. Ali Memon
Environment, Society and Design Division
Lincoln University

Fleming Juul Christiansen
University of Aarhus


Dr. Luìsa Schmidt
Instituto de Ciências Sociais
Universidade de Lisboa

Dr. Pedro Adão e Silva
European University Institute (EUI)

Irene Lapuerta
Departament of Political and Social Sciences
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Dr. Jordi Jaria i Manzano
Fundació Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Fleming Juul Christiansen
University of Aarhus

Dr. Isabelle Engeli
European University Institute (EUI)

Dr. Silja Häusermann
European University Institute (EUI)

Dr. Karin Ingold
Department of Environmental Sciences
ETH Zürich

The Netherlands
Herman Kasper Gilissen
Faculty of Law
Utrecht University

Dr. Frans Pennings
Department of Social Law and Social Policy
Tilburg University

Dr. Marleen van Rijswick
Faculty of Law
Utrecht University

Sinem Adar
Department of Sociology
Brown University

Dr. Semra Cerit Mazlum
Marmara Universitesi


Aliosman, Zekie
Bär, Holger
Camargo Correa, Selene
Castelo Branco, Suyan
Christiansen, Flemming
Euchner, Eva-Maria
Findling, Valentina
Jenne, Nicole
Jin, Soo
Karipoglou, Evangelia
Neudorfer, Benjamin
Nishimura, Kensuke
Nobbe, Philipp
Reimer, Inken
Schmitt, Sophie
Siafarikas, Jannis
Steinbüchel, Marc
Turnpenny, John