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Governance for Sustainable Development: The International Experiences

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Presentation on theme: "Governance for Sustainable Development: The International Experiences"— Presentation transcript:

1 Governance for Sustainable Development: The International Experiences
Susan Baker Professor, Environmental Policy Cardiff School of Social Sciences & Sustainable Places Research Institute Cardiff University Briefing Wednesday 13 March, 2013

2 Governance Governance: coordinating, managing, steering & guiding action in realm of public affairs 3 ‘ideal types’ Hierarchies: traditional top-down control by state, through legislation & regulation, fiscal & monetary measures (macro economic policy), strategic planning & political brokerage Networks: involvement of economic & business interest in policy (public-private collaboration); participation of civil society actors Markets: use of marked-based instruments [e,g voluntary agreements, subsidies, tradable permits, offset schemes, labelling] Different weight given Historically In different countries Across governance scale Within different policy areas

3 Evidence Base ECRP Research : 12 European colleagues, examined planning, funding and implementing SD at sub-national level in EU member states & Norway Comparative research from EU REGIONET project: examined regional models of SD across Europe (UK, France, Ireland and Austria) Evaluation of central funding programmes for SD by research team for Swedish EPA (Sweden, Germany, Netherlands & Denmark) Evidence from EU DISCUS project on urban governance for SD (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia). Case studies of sector policies, examined institutional capacities in Spanish local government; policy diffusion in German Länder; waste management policy in Ireland; rural sustainable development in Norway; and local governance for SD in Netherlands All brought together under the auspices of European Consortium for Political Research, Joint Session of Workshops, organised by Prof. Baker and Prof. Katarina Eckerberg Research covers period

4 Organising Themes Multi-level Governance
Networks and public / private partnerships Civil Society Participation Use of marked based instruments

5 1. Multi-Level Governance: Top-Down
Strong influence of EU in all countries - regulator & formulation of framework conditions & strategic plans European integration can support hierarchical governance Central (National) Sustainable Development Strategies function as a co-ordination tool for subsequent sub-national policy

6 MLG: Bottom-UP Engagement of sub-national level present several challenges But: many sub-national levels of government acting alone in absence of higher level input Greater autonomy means more attention to locally specific SD needs and interests Local level increasingly promoting locally relevant SD strategies Participatory practices and more substantive achievements found among local governments with high level of fiscal, legal and political autonomy

7 Wider Considerations Evidence of ‘path dependency’: SD becomes interpreted through existing structures, procedures and patterns of interactions within institutions (e.g Spain). Importance of institutional framework in which policies are prepared, developed and implemented also evident ( eg. Sweden) While EU helps capacity at sub-national level - this will not necessarily lead to pursuit of SD: other strategies (national development or spatial plans) often exercise dominant influence Tensions between different EU programmes ( eg Structural Funds) E.g SD at regional level influenced by National Development Plan (Ireland) and local political interests (France)

8 2. Networks & Public/Private Partnerships
Evidence across Europe of enhanced co-operation between private & public sectors in support of SD Co-operation ranged from: engagement in policy formulation to construction of public/private partnerships for programme & project delivery In Norway: opportunities for local politicians and private stakeholders to take shared responsibility for sustainable rural development

9 Advantages of Network Governance
Where networks arrangements are strong, they support innovative approaches: E.g. towns and cities linked to European networks are consistently high in achievements Provides opportunities for local politicians and private stakeholders to take shared responsibility for SD (e.g. rural development in Norway) Networks can become conduits for transfer of best practice (Norway & Germany) However, tensions between exploiting past learning to standardise around best practice and maintaining adaptability; & avoiding ‘lock in’: Eg: UK: desire for public/private partnerships to build upon past success & established forms of best practices often works against adoption of new initiatives & innovate approaches

10 Word of Caution About Network Governance!
Evidence shows use not necessarily stimulated by principles of SD alone: UK Lottery Fund: key source of funding for local SD initiatives, tends to prioritises public-private partnerships aimed at efficiency in policy delivery, often to determent of wider social & ecological aims NL public/private partnerships are often motivated NOT by SD, but by efficiency considerations; other times driven by concerns to enhance legitimacy of policy making processes (‘input legitimacy’) Can reduced strategic control that local authorities exercise, e.g. waste management in Ireland Tensions exist between partnership arrangements and traditional practices of representative democratic: ambiguity & uncertainty about who is responsible and accountable Need to take account of constraints (direct or indirect) that governments can impose on activities of networks

11 The State and Networks Networks conducted under ‘the shadow of hierarchy’ Influence exercised by public authorities remain vital: Can initiate networks Shape frames of reference Determine membership Make use of their privileged position to promote own interests Decide on what to do with their input/findings etc

12 3. Civil Society Participation
Dutch & Danish cases: excellent example of citizen groups/public having more direct input Many public policy makers reluctant to open up policy process Local authorities tend to rely upon limited number of groups (e.g. UK) Social groups that present radical views, e. g proposing ‘zero waste’ strategies, remain on fringes. Ireland: ENGOs tend to remain outsiders, especially those operating at local level Norwegian case similar Participation often occurs too late to exert influence over decisions Participation practices tended to be driven by problem-solving rather than wider considerations

13 Yet Effective governing for SD most likely to occur when governments work closely with civil society groups   Reciprocal benefits for both social cohesion and pursuit of SD Evidence this promotes ‘bracing’ social capital - where a strong & effective relationship formed between group of actors with interest in local SD

14 4. Market Based Instruments
Used in all countries Help achieve more effective implementation of SD goals Often used not just for purposes of hierarchical steering but to promote network governance ‘Catalysing effect’ of economic instruments found to work best where government efforts are linked to existing SD activities, e.g LA21 Requires strong state engagement to both kick-start and oversee their progress/monitoring Do not replace but co-mingle with traditional governance tools, particularly command & control

15 Conclusion Continuing importance of EU & state - at central and sub-national levels - in governance of SD: Initiating and co-ordinating SD planning processes Establishing framework legislation, developing strategies, initiating funding mechanisms Spurring the local level to engage in appropriate policies National legislation & policy priorities remain key drivers for SD, as are government steering mechanisms & instruments Governance of SD highly dependent on traditional government structures, processes and policy priorities [trade-offs, priority conflicts, political will, etc]

16 Finally As to whether contemporary forms of governance help to promote a coherent approach to SD - we are less certain in our verdict Our empirical research points: both to competing policy goals in practice and frequent inconsistency between declaratory level commitments and actual policy measures for SD. Clearly we have NOT yet arrived at the stage in development of the ‘green state’ where SD has displaced conventional economic priorities and where pursuit of SD has become so internalised and integrated that it becomes ‘normalised’ !

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