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Conclusion: Governance and Environment: Policy Challenges and Research Questions

Eric Brousseau (), Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Pierre-André Jouvet and Marc Willinger ()

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Abstract: Since the publication of path-breaking contributions on the governance of environmental resources in the early 1990s many political initiatives have been taken, many governance experiments have been run, and a large multidisciplinary field of research has opened up. The aim of this interdisciplinary book is to take stock of the dispersed knowledge that has been accumulated over the years and to address the new challenges in the provision of environmental goods by focusing on three essential dimensions with respect to governance. First, it addresses the issue of designing governance solutions through analyzing systems of rules and levels of organization in the governance and management of environmental issues. Second, it draws a renewed attention to the negotiation processes among stakeholders playing a crucial role in reaching agreements over issues and solutions, and in choosing and implementing particular policy instruments. Third, compliance to environmental rules and agreements has become a major problem, especially in a global context where there is no last-resort enforcer. The book shows that compliance depends on a combination of formal rules, enforced by recognized authorities, and informal obligations, such as social and individual norms. All in all, the evolution of the research frontiers on environmental governance show that more legitimate and informed processes of collective decision, and more subtle and effective ways of managing compliance can contribute to more effective policy. However, this book also shows that more democratic and effective governance should rely on more direct and pluralistic forms of involvement of citizens and stakeholders in the collective decision-making processes.

Keywords: polycentric governance; federalism; reflexive governance; socioecological systems; sustainable development; moral and economic motivations; international conventions; incentives mechanisms; intergenerational re-distribution; scientific knowledge; Environment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Published in Global Environmental Commons : Analytical and Political Challenges in Building Governance Mechanisms, pp.349-369, 2012

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