A Comparative Analysis of New Environmental Policy Instruments
Chapter 1: Environmental policy: from government to governance?
Since the 1990s there has been a huge upsurge in scholarly interest in governance and the new modes of governance with which it is associated. The governance ‘turn’ has produced a wide range of books (for example, Héritier and Rhodes, 2011a; Kooiman, 1993a, 2003; Rosenau and Czempiel, 1992), journal articles (for example, Rhodes, 1996; Héritier and Lehmkuhl, 2008; Risse and Lehmkuhl, 2007) and special issues of leading journals (for example, Lascoumes and Le Galés, 2007; Kassim and Le Galés, 2010; Schuppert and Zürn, 2008), as well as handbooks (Benz et al., 2007) and anthologies (for example, Bellamy and Palumbo, 2010). Schuppert (2008: 14) estimates that the use of the term govern- ance in scholarly publications rose by a factor of about 20 between 1990 and 2003 (see also Zürn, 2008: 553). For Palumbo (2010: xii) it ‘is another of those pivotal words endowed with a virus-like ability to spread across research fields in a remarkably short time’. It is therefore legitimate to ask whether there is anything important to say about governance that has not already been said. Our argument is that while governance is undoubtedly a term in good currency, the debate about its scope is often conducted at too high a level of abstraction. By descending the ‘ladder of abstraction’ (Sartori, 1970: 1040) to look at how governance plays out in relation to specific modes and instruments of governing, it is not only possible but important to say something new about governance.
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