Autocracies and Climate Change: A Quantitative Comparative Analysis of How Autocracies Deal with Climate Change

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2023-06-23
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en
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In this thesis, I examine how autocracies deal with climate change. The existing literature explains differences between democracies and autocracies and differences among democracies, but there is still a research gap regarding autocracies in dealing with climate change. Therefore, I set out to explain the variation among autocracies climate change policy. To do so, I establish nine hypotheses based on the existing literature. I test the effect of these nine factors on the environmental performance of 74 autocracies through simple, multiple, and stepwise regression analysis. The results of the simple regression analysis show that autocracies with greater emissions, a smaller population size, a lower risk of being affected by climate change consequences, more media freedom, a higher GDP per capita, an economy more focused on services and less involvement in conflicts, engage more in climate change policy, while higher levels of democracy and government effectiveness have no effect on environmental performance. The results of the multiple and stepwise regression analyses show that population size is the strongest predictor of environmental performance, but also the factors related to economic development, such as the percentage of the population working in the service sector, and political stability, i.e. the number of political violence conflicts, should not be overlooked. As a result, I argue that countries with a larger population size should take more responsibility, economically less developed countries should be taken more by the hand in climate change policy, and the importance of peace for the sake of the climate should be emphasized.
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen
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