Kathrin Loer, Visiting Fellow
AICGS is pleased to welcome Kathrin Loer as an NRW Fellow at AICGS from October to December 2019. Prior to her research stay at AICGS, she was a visiting professor for International Political Economy at the University of Osnabrück. Dr. Loer is an assistant professor (Habilitandin) at the FernUniversität in Hagen.
Dr. Loer’s present research is focused on studying political strategies that try to influence individual behavior (e.g., in health, environmental policy, and consumer policy). She is particularly interested in the role that behavioral sciences play in public policy. She wrote extensively about policy instruments and developed a concept on how to understand behavioral public policies. Dr. Loer not only investigates a broad spectrum of policies that address individual behavior, but also researches the influences on policymaking in a broader sense, especially with regard to stakeholder interests and external effects on policymaking.
During her time at AICGS, Dr. Loer will analyze how policies in the U.S. address and affect consumers with regard a) to healthy behavior (nutrition and physical activity) and with regard b) to energy use in private households. Governments in many countries try to find effective policy instruments in order to reduce obesity rates (NCD-prevention) and to reduce emissions (climate policy). However, finding such policies is closely linked to fundamental political questions on how intrusive public policy can or should be and how the relationship between the state and its citizens is shaped. Thus, policymakers are aware that designing effective policies can severely conflict with citizens’ or stakeholders’ interests since they would be more or less regulated and their freedom of choice be limited in one way or the other.