PD Dr. Frank Wendler
Since 1 May 2020, I am leading the research project: "How Ideas Frame the Politics of Climate Change", funded by the German Science Foundation DFG (Research Grant, 36 months).
My research interests concentrate on the following topics:
- Governance in Multi-Level Systems (esp. the European Union);
- Europeanization of national political systems (esp. parliaments); and
- Climate Change Policy in comparative perspective.
More information is available in the menu points below and on my personal homepage (including links to publications, Google Scholar, etc.).
Current research project
"How Ideas Frame the Politics of Climate Change: Disourse and Policy Development in the EU and US since the Paris Agreement"
DFG Research Grant (Module Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators); 36 Months, starting 1 May 2020
The research project asks how ideas about climate change affect policy-making in their function as the foundation for justificatory and advocacy frames in processes on climate change governance. On a broader scale, the project speaks to three more general questions: How ideas and discourse matter for policy in the context of multi-level systems; how the politicization of public discourse affects governance beyond the nation state; and how the study of ideas and discourse can be integrated more convincingly into approaches and theories of policy-making and comparative political system analysis.
Empirically, the project focuses on the comparison between climate policiies of the EU and US since the 2015 Paris Agreement, with a specific focus on their multi-level structure and their respective legislative institutions.
The research interest of the project is based on two main premises:
- Ideas are essential for conceptualizing climate change and the temporal and institutional framing of climate policy. At the same time, their inherent (cognitive) uncertainty and (normative) ambiguity are a central source for political conflict within this policy-field.
- Ideas affect policy through political discourse related to specific political agents and embedded in institutional settings. In this context, legislative institutions are of particular importance through their function as an interface between political representation and justification, and decision-making about specific policy.
From this point of departure, the project investigates the following specific research questions:
- What discursive frames are used for the evaluation of climate change and the programmatic description of climate policy? How does the structure of this framing differ between various cases and institutional contexts?
- What role do central political actors have for communicating, contesting and connecting different and competing forms of discourse about climate change and policy?
- How do institutional features particularly of legislative institutions affect the interaction between public discourse on climate change and decision-making about related acts of specific policy?
In terms of theory, elements of framing analysis are combined with approaches from the policy analysis literature (particularly the Advocacy Coalition Framework) to develop and test hypotheses about the interrelation of ideas and discourse in the context of public controversy and the policy process.
2016: Habilitation (Professorial thesis)
Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
2004: Defense of PhD thesis as Member of the Doctorate Program "The Future of the European Social Model"
University of Göttingen (Germany)
2000: Graduation in Political Science, Diplom-Politologe (M.A. equivalent)
University of Hamburg (Germany)
2020 (starting 1 May): Principal Investigator for the research project: "Climate Change Policy as a Contest of Ideas" (funded by the German Science Foundation DFG; Module Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators; grant awarded for 36 months)
2019: Privatdozent (rough equivalent: Non-tenured Senior Lecturer), Institute for Political Science, University of Hamburg (Germany)
2018/19: Interim Junior Professor for EU Multi-Level Politics, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
2018: Guest Researcher, Center for Globalisation and Governance, University of Hamburg (Germany)
2012 - 2017: DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle (USA)
2010/11: Guest Researcher, Social Science Research Center (WZB), Berlin (Germany)
2007 - 2012: Senior Lecturer, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
2005 - 2007: Postdoc Researcher, University of Maastricht (Netherlands)
2002 - 2005: Teaching assignments at Universities Göttingen and Bremen
Direct links to the publications listed can be found on my personal homepage.
2021: "Framing Climate Change in the EU and US After the Paris Agreement" (contracted with Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics)
2016: "Debating Europe in National Parliaments: Public Justification and Political Polarization”, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
2005: „Soziales Europa und demokratische Legitimität. Die Institutionalisierung der EU-Sozialpolitik aus demokratietheoretischer Perspektive“, Nomos, Baden-Baden.
2017 (with Sabine Lang and Joyce Mushaben): “German Unification as a Catalyst of Change: Linking the domestic and external dimension”, Special Issue of German Politics, Vol. 26/4
2007 (with Ellen Vos): “Food Safety Regulation in Europe: A Comparative Institutional Analysis”, Ius Commune Book Series, Intersentia, Antwerp.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
2021: "Contesting the European Union in a Changing Climate: Policy narratives and the justification of supranational governance", Journal of Contemporary European Studies, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14782804.2021.1882107, Link to article here
2020: "Framing Climate Change in the European Parliament: Political Contestation, Issue Dimensions, and Legislative Decision-Making", Paper for the ECPR General Conference, revised version under review.
2019: The European Parliament as an Arena and Agent in the Politics of Climate Change: Comparing the External and Internal Dimension; in: Politics and Governance, Special Issue: Out of the Shadows, Into the Limelight: Parliaments and Politicisation (Volume 7, Issue 3 - Open Access)
2018: "Grand Coalition Policy meets the EU's Multiple Crises. Stability Discourse versus Party Politics", in: German Politics, Vol. 28/3, 499-519, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2018.1555243
2017 (with Sabine Lang and Joyce Mushaben): “German Unification as a Catalyst of Social and Political Change: Introduction”, in: German Politics, Vol. 26/4, 443-56
2017: “Re-Calibrating Germany’s Role in Europe: Framing Leadership as Responsibility”, in: Special Issue of German Politics, Vol. 26/4, 574-90
2014: “Justification and political polarization in national parliamentary debates on EU Treaty Reform”, in: Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 21/4, 549-67
2014: “End of Consensus? The European leadership discourse of the second Merkel government during the Eurozone crisis and its contestation in debates of the Bundestag (2009-13)”, in: German Politics, Vol. 23/4, 446-459
2013: “Challenging Domestic Politics? European Debates of National Parliaments in France, Germany, and the UK”, in: Journal of European Integration, Vol. 35/7, 801-18
2012: „Die Politisierung von Rechtfertigungen der europäischen Integration. Nationale Parlamentsdebatten zur Reform der EU-Verträge im Deutschen Bundestag und dem britischen House of Commons“, in: Leviathan (Special Issue 27/2012), 190-208
2011: “Contesting Europe, or Germany`s place in Europe? European integration and the EU Policies of the Grand Coalition Government in the Mirror of Parliamentary Debates in the Bundestag”, in: German Politics, Vol. 20/4, 486-505
2011: “Die Politisierung der europäischen Integration: Nationale Parlamentsdebatten zur Europäischen Union im Bundestag und House of Commons” in: Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 2/2011, 307-25
2007: (with Susana Borrás und Charalampos Koutalakis): „Independent European agencies in the Post-Delegation Phase: Stakeholder Participation and Credible Procedures“, in: Journal of European Integration, Vol. 29/5, 583-600
2004: “The Paradoxical Effects of Institutional Change for the Legitimacy of European Governance: the Case of EU Social Policy”, in: European Integration Online Papers, Vol. 8 (2004) N° 7.
2002: „Neue Legitimationsquellen für Europa? Verbände in der europäischen Sozialpolitik“ in: Zeitschrift für internationale Beziehungen, 2/2002, 253-74
Chapters in edited volumes
2018: “Europapolitik der dritten Regierung Merkel: Führungskonflikt und Expansion der parteipolitischen Debatte” in: T. Saalfeld/R. Zohlnhöfer (eds.): Zwischen Stillstand, Politikwandel und Krisenmanagement. Bilanz der Dritten Regierung Merkel, Springer, Berlin, 591-618
2017: “National Parliaments as Arenas of Public Debate and Contestation: Insights from the Eurozone Crisis”, in D. Jancic (ed.): National Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty and the Euro Crisis: Resilience or Resignation, Oxford University Press, 177-92
2016: “Employer and Labour Associations in the European Union”, in: R. Biermann/J. Koops (eds): Palgrave Handbook on Inter-Organizational Relations, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 29, 611-27
2015: „Die Europapolitik der zweiten Regierung Merkel: zwei Betrachtungen zur transformativen Wirkung der Krise“ in: R. Zohlnhöfer/T. Saalfeld (eds): Politik im Schatten der Krise. Bilanz der zweiten Regierung Merkel (2009-2013), VS Springer, Berlin, 581-603
2011: „Neue Legitimationsquellen für Europa? Verbände in der europäischen Sozialpolitik“ in: S. Stetter/C. Masala/M. Karbowski (eds): Was die EU im Innersten zusammenhält. Debatten zur Legitimität und Effektivität supranationalen Regierens, Nomos, Baden-Baden,157-80
2010: „Pragmatismus, Führung und langsam erodierender Konsens. Eine Bilanz der Europapolitik der Großen Koalition“, in: R. Zohlnhöfer/C. Egle (eds): Die zweite Große Koalition. Eine Bilanz der Regierung Merkel 2005-2009, VS, Wiesbaden 528-48
2009 (with A. Ely, A. Stirling, M. Dreyer, O. Renn and E. Vos): „The Need for Change“ (Ch. 1) & „Overview of the General Framework“ (Ch. 2), in: M. Dreyer/O. Renn (eds): Food Safety Governance. Integrating Science, Precaution, and Public Involvement, Springer, Berlin, 11-46
2009 (with A. Ely, A. Stirling and E. Vos): „The Process of Framing“ (Ch. 3), in: M. Dreyer/O. Renn (eds): Food Safety Governance. Integrating Science, Precaution, and Public Involvement, Springer, Berlin, 47-56
2009 (with E. Vos): „Legal and Institutional Aspects of the General Framework“ (Ch. 6), in: M. Dreyer/O. Renn (eds): Food Safety Governance. Integrating Science, Precaution, and Public Involvement, Springer, Berlin, 83-110
2009 (with M. Dreyer, O. Renn, A. Ely, A. Stirling and E. Vos): „Summary: Key Features of the General Framework“, in: Dreyer, M./Renn, O. (eds): Food Safety Governance. Integrating Science, Precaution, and Public Involvement, Springer, Berlin, 159-66
2008: “The Public-Private Regulation of Food Safety through HACCP: What does it mean for the Governance Capacity of Public and Private Actors?”, in: Vos, Ellen (ed.): European Risk Governance: its Science, its Inclusiveness and its Effectiveness, Mannheim, 223-56
2007: „Die Agenda der EU-Kommission zur ‚Modernisierung des europäischen Sozialmodells’: Anmerkungen zur Entwicklung einer sozialpolitischen Leitidee“, in: R. Fischer/A. Karrass/S. Kröger (eds): Die Europäische Kommission und die Zukunft der EU. Ideenfabrik zwischen europäischem Auftrag und nationalen Interessen, B Budrich, Opladen, 231-50
2007: “La tensa transición a la democracia en México. Conflictos sin solucionar y la crisis de la confianza en las instituciones” in: A. Luengo (ed.): Entre la violencia y la reparación. Estudios interdisciplinarios sobre procesos de democratización en Iberoamérica, edition tranvia, Berlin, 52-75
2007 (with Ellen Vos): “Food Safety Regulation in the European Union”, in: E. Vos, /F. Wendler (eds), Food Safety Regulation in Europe, Intersentia, Antwerp, 65-138
2007: (with Kerstin Dressel et al.): “Food Safety Regulation in Germany”, in: E. Vos/F. Wendler (eds), Food Safety Regulation in Europe, Intersentia, Antwerp, 287-330
Miscellaneous and work in progress
Contributions to academic blogs
2019: "Klimapolitik als Ideenkonflikt. Framing und Diskurskoalitionen in der Europäischen Union und den USA"; Semester opening lecture at the Institute for Political Science, published in the 100x100 Anniversary blog of University Hamburg, URL: https://politik100x100.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/wendler-lecture-klima-ideen/ (in German)
2018: "The German Bundestag and Brexit", Blog of the DCU Brexit Institute, URL: http://dcubrexitinstitute.eu/2018/09/the-german-bundestag-and-brexit/
Peer-reviewed online Working Papers
2014: “Debating Europe in National Parliaments: Justification and Political Polarization in Debates on the EU in Austria, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom”, OPAL Online Working Paper No. 17/2014
2012: “Debating the European Debt Crisis. Government Leadership, Party Ideology, and Supranational Integration as Focal Points of Parliamentary Debates in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom”, American Consortium on European Studies, ACES Working Paper 2012.3, Washington DC
2011: „The politicisation of European Treaty Reform. Public justification and party polarisation in debates about the revision of the EU Treaties in the Bundestag and the House of Commons“, Wissenschaftszentrum Berin, WZB Discussion Paper SP-IV 2012-301
2015: “Party Transformations in European Democracies by Andre Krouwel”, SUNY Press, in: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 53/1, 965-66
2011: „Mehr als ein Nebenschauplatz? Neue Beiträge zur Analyse der Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament“, in: integration 3/2011, 257-62
Summer semester 2020
- Lecture Class: Governance in Multi-Level Political Systems
- Seminar: Politics and Governance in the EU: Current Research Questions
Winter semester 2019 / 20
- Seminar: Climate Change Policy as Polycentric Governance
- Seminar: Introduction into Political Science
Summer semester 2019
- Lecture Class: Governance in Multi-Level Political Systems
- Seminar: Democracy in the EU - Crisis or Re-Configuration?
(translated class titles, original titles are listed on the German version of this website)
In my academic career, I have taught classes at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, the University of Washington in Seattle (USA), and for the EU Brussels Summer Study Program of the University of Colorado (Boulder).
During the last five years, my classes have covered the following thematic areas:
- Political Representation and Democratic Politics in the EU;
- Climate Change Policy of the EU in a Global Context;
- Introductions to (Comparative) Political Science (Lecture Class and Seminar);
- Europeanization of Domestic Politics, Policy-Making and Institutions;
- Evolution of the EU as a Global Actor; and
- Politics and Governance in the European Union.