Alumni Senior Fellow

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 196
47059 Duisburg
Germany

Tel:  +49 (0)203 29861-103
Fax: +49 (0)203 29861-199
E-mail: sprinz@spam protectgcr21.uni-due.de

Fellowship

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D., joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow. He conducted his research in Research Unit 1 'The (Im)Possibility of Cooperation' from January to July 2017.

Research Project at the Centre

Credible Commitments to Long-Term Policy

We study the conditions under which governments might be able to commit to a long-term policy such as a policy to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. In particular, we wish to study how the prospects that elections in one or more countries participating in a climate agreement might influence these countries' implementation of their long-term commitments under this agreement. As part of this effort, we plan to conduct a lab experiment based on the Centipede game (Binmore 1987; Aumann 1988; Morton 2007).

In this game, two players take turns in making decisions. At each decision node, one of the players must decide whether to continue or discontinue the game. A central characteristic of the game is that the longer the two players continue the game, the larger the players' payoffs. However, at each decision node, discontinuing the game is the individually rational option. Hence, the unique subgame-perfect equilibrium is that the player making the first move discontinues the game immediately.

However, as is also the case for many other cooperation games, the behavior predicted by the subgame-perfect equilibrium is typically not borne out in lab experiments. Instead, players often continue the game for several moves (or even to the end) and thereby achieve collectively better outcomes than in the subgame-perfect equilibrium (McKelvey and Palfrey 1992).

We will conduct an experiment that introduces a novel variant of the Centipede game. Before the final move, an election is held in one of the countries. The outcome of this election can either be 'green' (meaning that the current government is reelected and continues to reduce emissions) or 'brown' (meaning that a less climate-friendly government takes over and climate change mitigation comes to a halt). If the outcome of the election is brown, then the temptation to discontinue the game (withdraw from the climate agreement) will become large, whereas if the outcome is green, then this temptation remains moderate. Moreover, in our experiment the probability of a brown election outcome is either moderate (0.4) or significant (0.6). We will study experimentally how this modification of the Centipede game influences the outcome. A core hypothesis is that the players will be most likely to discontinue the game early if there is a significant probability of a brown outcome and the temptation to discontinue after a brown outcome is large. In contrast, they will be less likely to discontinue early if there is only a moderate probability of a brown outcome and the temptation to discontinue after a brown outcome is moderate.

In addition, we will also study experimentally how trust may influence the outcome. By increasing the number of decisions made before the election takes place, subjects have the opportunity to acquire more information about their opponents and to build trust through cooperative behavior. We hypothesize that a longer horizon (and thus an increased chance to build trust) will reduce the probability of discontinuing the game both before and after the election, even when the temptation to discontinue is high (i.e., even when the outcome of the election is brown).

Our experiments will use instructions that follow — as far as possible — those used by Palacios-Huerta and Volij (2009). Given the benchmarks of the standard Centipede game (McKelvey and Palfrey 1992), we innovate on the current state of knowledge by introducing an election component that entails uncertainty concerning payoffs. Our experiments aim to demonstrate whether and to what degree this innovative component will cause our results to deviate from those of previous Centipede game experiments.

Research Interests

  • Long-Term Policy
  • Inter/national Institutions & the Evaluation of their Performance
  • European & International Environmental Policy (in particular Climate Policy)
  • Modeling Political Decisions

Current Projects

  • The Challenge of Long-Term Policy (LoPo)

Vita

Since 2011 University of Potsdam, Germany
Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
Adjunct Professor
Since 1992 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam
Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods
Senior Scientist
2016-2017 University of Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Political Science
External Faculty
2016-2017 University of Oslo, Norway
Department of Political Science
Project-Based Personnel Exchange Programme (PPP) (with Jon Hovi)
2011-2013 Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), and Strategic Challenges in International Climate and Energy Policy (CICEP), Oslo
Senior Research Fellow
2011-2012 The Research Council of Norway; University of Oslo (Department of Political Science); and CICERO, Oslo
E.ON. Ruhrgas Fellow
2009-2011 University of Potsdam, Germany
Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
Adjunct Position
2006-2007 University of Michigan, USA
Department of Political Science
Visiting Professor
2005 Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA), Hamburg, Germany
Visiting Fellow
2004 The Research Council of Norway; University of Oslo (Department of Political Science), Oslo
Ruhrgas Fellow
2001-2003 University of Oslo
Department of Political Science
Project-Based Personnel Exchange Programme (PPP) (with Jon Hovi and Arild Underdal)
2001 University of Essex, UK
Department of Government
Fellow
1997-2006 University of Potsdam
Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
Adjunct Position
1995-2002 Ecologic Institute for International and European Environmental Policy, Berlin
Co-Founder and (non-executive) Partner
1992 University of Michigan
Department of Political Science
Ph.D., Thesis title: 'Why Countries Support International Environmental Agreements: The Regulation of Acid Rain in Europe' (Chair: Prof. Harold K. Jacobson)

Selected Publications

Sprinz, Detlef, and Luterbacher, Urs (eds.) (forthcoming): Global Climate Change in an International Context, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Sprinz, Detlef et al. (forthcoming): 'The Club Approach: A Gateway to Effective Climate Cooperation?', British Journal of Political Science.

Sprinz, Detlef et al. (2016): 'Predicting Paris — Multi-Method Approaches to Forecast the Outcomes of Global Climate Negotiations', Politics and Governance 4 (3): 172–87. online

Hovi, Jon, Sprinz, Detlef et al. (2016): 'Climate Change Mitigation: A Role for Climate Clubs?', Palgrave Communications (doi:10.1057/palcomms.2016.20). online

Sprinz, Detlef, and von Bünau, Steffen (2013): 'The Compensation Fund for Climate Impacts', Weather, Climate, and Society 5 (3): 210–20. online

Sprinz, Detlef et. al. (2013): 'Transition Towards a New Global Change Science: Requirements for Methodologies, Methods, Data and Knowledge', Environmental Science & Policy 28: 36–47 (together with Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Carlo Giupponi, Keith Richards, Claudia Binder, Alex de Sherbinin, Theo Toonen, and Caroline van Bers). online

Bang, Guri, Hovi, Jon, and Sprinz, Detlef (2012): 'US Presidents and the Failure to Ratify Multilateral Environmental Agreements', Climate Policy 12 (6): 755–63. online

Haberl, Helmut, Sprinz, Detlef et al. (2012): 'Correcting a Fundamental Error in Greenhouse Gas Accounting Related to Bioenergy', Energy Policy 45: 18–23. online

Hovi, Jon, Sprinz, Detlef, and Bang, Guri (2012): 'Why the United States Did Not Become A Party to the Kyoto Protocol: German, Norwegian, and US Perspectives', European Journal of International Relations 18 (1): 129–50 (included in the 'editor's choice' collection of papers published in the EJIR Journal on Climate and Environmental Governance). online

Sprinz, Detlef, and Wolinsky-Nahmias, Yael (eds.) (2004): Models, Numbers, and Cases: Methods for Studying International Relations, Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Sprinz, Detlef et al.  (2004): Reasoning Goals of Climate Protection – Specification of Article 2 UNFCCC, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler: Europäische Akademie GmbH (together with Ott Konrad, Gernot Klepper, Stephan Ligner, Achim Schäfer, and Jürgen Scheffran). online

Sprinz, Detlef et al. (2002): Klimavorhersage und Klimavorsorge [Climate Prediction and Precautionary Measures], Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Sprinz, Detlef, and Luterbacher, Urs (eds.) (2001): International Relations and Global Climate Change, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Teaching Responsibilities

Selection:

  • Global Environmental Policy (MA-level seminar, University of Zurich, Switzerland, fall term 2016)
  • Methods for Studying International Relations/ World Politics (MA-level seminar, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of Potsdam, Germany, summer term 2016)
  • Global Climate Governance: Predicting Paris / Global Environmental & Climate Policy (MA-level seminar, Master of Public Management, MA Political Science, MA Public Administration, University of Potsdam, Germany, winter term 2015/2016)
  • Predicting Global Environmental and Energy Policy (MA-level seminar, Master of Public Management, Master of Public Policy, Master of Public Administration, University of Potsdam, Germany, winter term 2012/2013)
  • International Environmental Policy (Ph.D.-level seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, winter 2007)
  • Introduction to World Politics (first-year undergraduate seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, winter 2007)
  • Methods for Studying World Politics (advanced undergraduate seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, fall 2006)
  • Quantitative International Relations & Quantitative Political Science (MA-level seminar, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, & University of Potsdam, winter term 2005/2006)
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods for Political Scientists (MA-level seminar, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of Potsdam, summer term 2005)
  • Methods for Studying International Relations (MA-level seminar, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of Potsdam, winter term 2004/2005)
  • Climate Change Policy: National, European, Global (advanced undergraduate seminar, University of Potsdam, summer term 2001)
  • Advanced Topics in International Environmental Policy (advanced undergraduate Seminar, University of Potsdam, winter term 1998/1999)

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Since 2008: Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Global Environmental Politics
  • Since 2008: Associate Editor for Political Science, Weather, Climate, and Society
  • Since 1995: Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Environment & Development
  • 2013–2016: Project Management, 'India's Climate and Energy Policy Strategy in a Globalizing World: Changing Global structures and International Cooperation' (INDGLOB grant #226089), Work Package on Forecasting the Future Mitigation Policy of India (awarded to CICERO—Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo and funded by the Research Council of Norway, Oslo, Norway)
  • 2009–2012: Chairman, Scientific Committee, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark (Vice-Chair: 2006-2008; Member: 2004–2012) (First Political Scientist to serve on the Scientific Committee)

Review activities for foundations, funding agencies, publishers (selection):

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency)
  • Centre for Science and Environment
  • Dutch National Research Programme on 'Global Air Pollution and Climate Change'
  • European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment (formerly: European Academy Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler)
  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • European Union/European Commission, Climate & Environment Programme
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Routledge (Francis & Taylor Group)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
  • The MIT Press
  • The University of Michigan Press
  • Volkswagen Stiftung (VW Foundation)

Review activities for Journals (selection):

  • American Journal of Political Science
  • British Journal of Political Science
  • Climate Policy
  • Environmental Politics
  • European Journal of International Relations
  • International Environmental Affairs
  • International Organization
  • International Studies Quarterly
  • Journal of Conflict Resolution
  • Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Nature Climate Change
  • Scandinavian Political Studies
  • Swiss Political Science Review
  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change
  • World Development
  • Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen (German Journal of International Relations)

Seminars and Conferences

  • 'The Effectiveness of Climate Clubs under Donald Trump' (with Jon Hovi), Colloquium of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, 28 February 2017, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.
  • Co-Director and Introduction, International Workshop on 'Compensating for Climate Impacts?', Konrad Adenauer Foundation-RECAP & the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), 17–18 February 2017, Hotel Harbor Grand Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
  • 'Credible Commitment to Future Generations? Sovereign Wealth Funds', 4th Annual Workshop of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty, 17–18 November 2016, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA.
  • 'Predicting Paris: What Can be Learned from Forecasting the Negotiation Outcomes', invited presentation, International Conference 'Emerging Issues in Global Climate Governance After Paris — Perspectives From Asia and Europe', Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Crown Plaza Hong Kong – Kowloon East, 27–28 October 2016, Hong Kong, China.
  • 'Can Climate Mitigation Clubs Achieve the Long-Term Goal of the Paris Agreement', invited presentation, co-organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, Tongji's German Studies Center and School of Public Policy and International Relations, 25 October 2016, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
  • 'The Club Approach: A Gateway to Effective Climate Cooperation?', presentation on occasion of the Innovations in Climate Governance (INOGOV) Workshop 'Pioneers and Leaders in Polycentric Climate Governance (PiLePoC)', 15–16 September 2016, Blaydes House, Maritime Historical Studies Centre, Hull, UK.
  • 'Predicting Paris — Multi-Method Approaches to Forecast the Outcomes of Global Climate Negotiations', scientific symposium in honor of Arild Underdal on 'Global Climate Governance and the Paris Agreement', 9 September 2016, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, Norway.
  • 'Predicting the Outcomes of Global Climate Negotiations — A Review and a Brief Look Ahead', invited presentation, E.ON Stipendienfonds Summer Academy 2016, 11 August 2016, Internationales Begegnungszentrum St. Marienthal, St. Marienthal, Germany.
  • 'Hard Law Beats Soft Law', Second Environmental Politics & Governance Conference, 16–19 June 2016, Seminarhotel Gerzensee, Switzerland.
  • 'Predicting Paris — Multi-Method Approaches to Forecast the Outcomes of Global Climate Negotiations', invited presentation, conference on 'Designing Effective Climate Policy', 16th Annual Policy Conference, European Studies Center, 2–4 May 2016, University of Pittsburgh, USA.
  • 'Predicting Paris: Forecasting the Outcomes of the UN Climate Negotiations in Paris 2015', organizer and co-presenter, Research Training Group WIPCAD at the University of Potsdam in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), 18 November 2015, University of Potsdam, Germany.
  • 'The Compensation Fund for Climate Impacts: Architecture & Predictions', invited presentation, International Conference on Climate Change Resilience 2015, 6 October 2015, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India.
  • 'The Effect of the EU and the UNFCCC on the EU-15 Emission Trajectories During Kyoto I', presentation on occasion of the European Environmental Evaluators Network — 2015 Forum 'Knowledge from Climate & Environment Policy Evaluation Supporting the Road from Paris to 2050', co-organized by FSR Climate, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence, and the Environmental Evaluators Network (EEEN), 17 September 2015, European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy.
  • 'Credible Commitment to Future Generations? The Alaska Permanent Fund', WIPCAD Lecture Series of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the University of Potsdam, 22 July 2015, University of Potsdam, Germany.

Membership

  • American Political Science Association
  • European Academy, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany
  • Global Climate Forum (formerly: European Climate Forum)
  • German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • German Political Science Association (DVPW)
  • IIASA Alumni Association (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)
  • Potsdam Center for Politics and Management (PCPM), University of Potsdam
  • Potsdam Center for Quantitative Research (PCQR), University of Potsdam (Co-founder)
  • Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty

Awards

  • Certificate of Tribute by Governor Jennifer M. Grandholm (Michigan) 'to honor his contributions to the science of global climate change' in conjunction with 'the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who along with former Vice President Al Gore, received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize' (2008)
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA (1991–1992)
  • Venture Research Workshop Grant 'Long-Term Environmental Policy' (in support of a Special Issue of Global Environmental Politics), International Studies Association, Tucson, AZ, USA (2007–2009)
  • Workshop Grant, 'The Analysis of International Relations' (Book Project on 'Models, Numbers, and Cases: Methods for Studying International Relations' with Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias), International Studies Association, Tucson, AZ, USA (1999–2001)

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Gerardo Bracho

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Dr Petra Gümplová

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Joe Hoover

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair