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Christina Köhler-Tschirschnitz

Christina Köhler-Tschirschnitz


  • RLS-year 2016

CV from Christina Köhler-Tschirschnitz

Christina Köhler-Tschirschnitz

Christina Köhler was born on 14th August, 1990 in Schweinfurt, Germany.

From 2009 to 2012 she studied the Bachelor of Arts Political and Social Studies at the University of Würzburg. During her Master's program in Political Science at the University of Heidelberg she focused on policy analysis in the areas of climate, sustainability and energy policies. Christina Köhler worked as a student assistant e.g. in the interdisciplinary research project „Determinants of the Local Agenda 21 process in Heidelberg". In her Master's thesis on renewable energy policy in Germany she analysed the emergence and development of the renewable energy policy in the period from 1986 to 2012. In 2016 she started with her PhD project „Energy Transition in Germany. Development, determinants and trade-offs of a policy area in upheaval".

Short description of the doctoral thesis:

„Energy Transition in Germany. Development, determinants and trade-offs of a policy area in upheaval"

The energy transition (Energiewende) is one of the major political, social and technical tasks in Germany. Current challenges relating to the governance of the transformation process as well as diverse trade-offs and interactions between different sectors of the energy transition show, that a successful implementation of the energy transition requires coherent and problem-solving governance. Against this background, the PhD project aims to analyse the development, the impacts and determinants of Germany's energy transition policy. Furthermore, as part of an interim balance, success factors and problems arising from the specific governance will be identified that influence the implementation of the energy transformation. Moreover, the findings shall serve to derive practical knowledge for a more targeted and coherent governance of the transformation process.

The project investigates following three questions: How can the German energy turnaround decision in 2011 be explained? How does this policy change influence the further development of energy transition policies? Which consequences of the concrete governance can be observed for the implementation of the energy transition? Thereby, the project focusses the „accelerated" energy system transformation in the wake of Fukushima as well as the implementation of central measures, which were already implemented in the early 2000's and since then provided the basis for the current energy transition policy. Therefore, the investigation covers the period from 1998 to 2017. The project's focus is laid on the energy transition in the power sector, whereby the following four domains will be analysed: renewable energy, nuclear energy, coal energy and grid expansion.

In order to explain the energy transition policy the theoretical approaches of comparative public policy research are employed. Moreover, this approach will be extended by introducing sociocultural and policy specific factors. These extensions enable the analysis to integrate significant factors, such as social acceptance, risk perceptions or specific energy policy characteristics. Methodologically the research project applies process tracing and various qualitative methods for data collection and analysis.