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Sebastian Sewerin is a senior researcher and lecturer with the Energy Politics Group since October 2015. He explores countries’ low-carbon energy policy mixes, thinking about ways to conceptualize and measure policy change in a systematic and comparable way. He is particularly interested in understanding long-term policy dynamics and their underlying interplay between policy output, policy effects and subsequent politics. To this end, he aims to bring together theories and concepts from political science (policy change, policy feedback, policy design) and innovation studies (technology characteristics) to better understand the co-evolution of policy and technology.

Current projects include a comparative study of countries’ policy design approaches regarding lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Sebastian also contributes to international organizations’ reports like the UN Environment’s recent 6th Global Environment Outlook. Sebastian’s research is published with Oxford University Press and in journals like Nature Energy, Policy Studies Journal, Research Policy and Climate Policy, and focuses on developed countries’ low-carbon energy policy and politics. Sebastian holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cologne`s Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Science.

He obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science, Medieval and Modern History and Anglo-American History, also from the University of Cologne. Sebastian worked as a research fellow at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. During his PhD and Postdoc research, he spent time as a visiting scholar at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (University of Saskatchewan), and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences.

Selected publications


  • Burns, C., Tobin, P., Sewerin, S. (Eds.). (2019). The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy. Oxford University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Schmidt T.S., Schmid N., Sewerin S. (2019). Policy goals, partisanship and paradigmatic change in energy policy – analyzing parliamentary discourse in Germany over 30 years. Climate Policy (forthcoming)
  • Schmidt, T. S., Sewerin, S. (2018). Measuring the temporal dynamics of policy mixes – An empirical analysis of renewable energy policy mixes’ balance and design features in nine countries. Research Policy.
  • Schmidt T.S., Sewerin S. (2017). Technology as a driver of climate and energy politics, Nature Energy. doi: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.84
  • Schaffrin, A., Sewerin, S., Seubert, S. (2015). Toward a comparative measure of climate policy output. Policy Studies Journal 43, 257-282.
  • Schaffrin, A., Sewerin, S., Seubert, S. (2014). The innovativeness of national policy portfolios – climate policy change in Austria, Germany, and the UK. Environmental Politics 23, 860-883.
  • Policy reports United Nations Environment (2019). 6th Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Healthy Planet, Healthy People. (contributing author to chapters 11 and 17)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (2011). Decoupling Natural Resource Use and Environmental Impacts from Economic Growth. (contributing author to chapter 6)


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