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Theories of environmental outcomes have been developed mostly through large-N cross-national studies, which have a structuralist bias and do not include the mechanisms through which inferred causes operate. Structured, focused case studies can help overcome those limits by incorporating political processes and identifying causal mechanisms. Here, comparisons of climate policy outcomes within Germany are used to test and develop theory, by explaining the differences among nine cases with the help of process tracing. The findings suggest that environmental-outcome theories should be modified to include: external events and advocacy-coalition formation as key processes; multiple causal paths through which green parties improve environmental quality; more examination of the ways that neocorporatism can hinder environmental performance and that advocacy-coalition formation can change patterns of interest intermediation; and rising income and consumption as factors producing environmental deterioration in the absence of policies regulating consumption.



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