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 11: Governance for Sustainable Development: Lessons and Implications

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 The underlining theme of the present work has been to explore the ‘differentness’ of sustainable development as a widely endorsed international programme to be implemented by the member states of the United Nations. Within the context of the SUSGOV project the individual contributors have been challenged to relate their own fields of expertise to the ‘form follows function’ problematic, which is inherent to the implementation task. The message to each participant at the start of the project was: given the premise of differentness as a challenge to strategic governance, focus on a topic of choice that brings insights – of whatever nature – to the form–function discourse. Though many of the contributions address the problematic more directly than others, all of the nine studies clearly reflect the basic theme. The theme could have been structured more rigidly as a ‘protocol’ or ‘template’ for greater consistency across the individual studies. This would possibly have resulted in a greater ‘pay-off’ for nomothetic science; but would not, the author believes, have been as advantageous for applied science. Furthermore, the depth of insight and richness of understanding that the studies have produced would have been lost; qualities that only can be secured through self-regulated in-depth analysis. The studies can be seen, therefore, as both ‘stand-alone’ contributions within their own separate sub-fields and common contributions to the governance discourse. In trying to capture the major lessons and implications of the latter, this chapter will conclude by trying to relate the major findings to...

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