National Policy Styles and Waste Management in The Netherlands and Bavaria

  • Jan Eberg

Many people will remember the controversy that arose around the Brent Spar oil platform in the summer of 1995. Plans by oil company Shell to sink their drilling platform in the open sea were opposed in public actions by the environmental organisation Greenpeace, leading on to wider protests, especially in Germany. Eventually, Shell withdrew its plans.

The question arises why the Germans in particular were so concerned, something even Greenpeace was at a loss to explain. Some commentators pointed to ‘a difference in national character’. One of them was Dutch journalist Willem Beusekamp, who related the Brent Spar affair to the aspect of the German ‘national soul’ embodied in the phrase Den Wald im Kopf, translatable as ‘forest-mindedness’, and equivalent to an almost mythical alliance with nature (Beusekamp 1995). It seems that nations may differ when it comes to the values accorded to nature and this in turn affects the processes of political decision-making. These national characteristics, including the socio-cultural roots of a country, are part of a broader set of institutional factors. In this chapter we examine the infl uence of these institutional factors on contemporary national waste policy.


Waste Management Municipal Solid Waste Hazardous Waste Municipal Waste Waste Prevention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Safety and Secutrity Management, Hogeschool of UtrechtNetherlands

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