Governance for Sustainable Development

Governance for Sustainable Development

The Challenge of Adapting Form to Function

Edited by William M. Lafferty

This book is an original study of the challenge of implementing sustainable development in Western democracies. It highlights the obstacles which sustainable development presents for strategic governance and critically examines how these problems can best be overcome in a variety of different political contexts.

Chapter 7: From Environmental Protection to Sustainable Development: The Challenge of Decoupling through Sectoral Integration

William M. Lafferty

Subjects: economics and finance, valuation, environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, valuation, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy, public policy


* William M. Lafferty POLICY INTEGRATION AS A GOVERNING MECHANISM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The introduction to the present volume places the concept of ‘sustainable development’ within a specific context of applied social science. Given that sustainable development has been broadly endorsed as an overarching goal by the members of the United Nations, and very actively followed up by the members and governing bodies of the European Union, how can social research contribute to a more effective realization of the goal? Within this context the OECD has played an active role in trying to specify and further develop mechanisms and instruments for governance for sustainable development, and the current chapter addresses itself specifically to these efforts. The OECD has formulated the governance challenge for sustainable development as a need for achieving a better balance between the ‘ecological, social and economic’ aspects of welfare provision. The ‘key concepts’ of sustainable development are framed in terms of capital substitution between man-made, natural, human and social capital (OECD 2001a: 6), with key ‘policy elements’ identified as: ‘long-term planning horizons, pricing, the delivery of public goods, cost-effectiveness, environmental effectiveness, policy integration, precaution, international co-operation, and transparency and accountability’ (OECD 2001a: 8). Relating these distinctions to the problem of governance more generally, we can say that an initial understanding of the goal of sustainable development is to achieve greater environmental effectiveness through cost-effective policy integration, and that this can be realized by employing differing combinations of the other policy elements. Given the very broad (and controversial) nature...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information