Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand

Can new modes of governance, such as public–private partnerships, stakeholder consultations and networks, promote effective environmental policy performance as well as increased deliberative and participatory quality? This book argues that in academic inquiry and policy practice there has been a deliberative turn, manifested in a revitalized interest in deliberative democracy coupled with calls for novel forms of public–private governance. By linking theory and practice, the contributors critically examine the legitimacy and effectiveness of new modes of governance, using a range of case studies on climate, forestry, water and food safety policies from local to global levels.

Chapter 10: Regulatory Challenges and Forest Governance in Sweden

Peter Schlyter and Ingrid Stjernquist

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Peter Schlyter and Ingrid Stjernquist INTRODUCTION In recent years there has been an interest, both theoretical and practical, in what have been designated as new modes of governance and it is often claimed that environmental governance has taken a deliberative turn (see Chapters 1–2, this volume). Deliberative democracy, though, comes in many forms and there is no single universally accepted definition of the concept. Indeed there is considerable disagreement ‘about value, status, aim and scope of deliberation’ among the theory’s proponents (Gutmann and Thompson, 2004, p. 21). A core argument of this book is that contemporary environmental governance practice has been influenced by deliberative democratic ideals, reflecting a move from hierarchical steering towards more deliberative and participatory modes of governance (see Chapter 1, this volume). This chapter investigates this claim through a case study of Swedish forest governance seen from a historical perspective. Is there an identifiable trend away from traditional forms of environmental governance towards new modes, whether they are market-oriented or deliberative? Or could one argue that the rise of new modes of environmental governance is a reflection of the intrinsic characteristics of particular (environmental) problems that bias for particular governance forms? Alternatively, is the current trend just a chance fit between relatively young policy areas and synchronous governance fashions and ideals? Clearly, it is methodologically hard to assess whether there really is a deliberative turn based on contemporary policy issues with a short history and therefore synchronous with the suggested change. Given the relative youth of...

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