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Toward sustainable policy instruments: assessing instrument selection among policy actors

Anik Glaus, Ruth Wiedemann and Laurence Brandenberger

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 9, 1708-1726

Abstract: To address complex environmental problems we need sustainable policy solutions, which are often disregarded by policy actors in charge of addressing these problems. In this article, we study factors that promote or hinder policy actors’ selection for sustainable policy instruments using the case of flood risk management in Switzerland. We evaluate flood risk management instruments based on three key sustainability dimensions and forgo conventional approaches to categorizing policy instruments. In a survey, we ask policy actors which policy instruments they prefer and thus evaluate which policy actors select sustainable policy instruments. Results indicate that problem perception is the key determinant influencing policy actors’ selection of sustainable flood risk management instruments. Results also suggest that the tendency to select sustainable flood risk management instruments differs depending on actor type and actor level. These findings help us understand which settings promote the selection of sustainable policy solutions to tackle complex environmental problems.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1944847

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