Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development

Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development

Moving Beyond the Impasse

Edited by James Meadowcroft, Oluf Langhelle and Audun Ruud

The contributors explore the difficulties developed countries are experiencing in coming to terms with environmental limits and the resultant challenges to the democratic polity. They engage with different dimensions of the governance challenge including norms, public attitudes, citizen engagement, political conflict, policy design, and implementation, and with a range of environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity/nature protection, and water management. The book concludes with an essay by William Lafferty that explores the flawed character of the contemporary democratic polity and offers his reflections on possible pathways to reform.

Preface

Edited by James Meadowcroft, Oluf Langhelle and Audun Ruud

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

Extract

This collection of essays has its origins in the ‘Oslo Symposium on Democracy, Research Engagement and Sustainable Development’, which was held at the Voksenåsen Conference Centre in 2009. The meeting was convened to honour William M. Lafferty, on the occasion of his retirement as Director of the Programme for Research and Documentation for a Sustainable Society (ProSus), a 15-year strategic research initiative supported by the Research Council of Norway. The Symposium generated a lively intellectual exchange around a set of critical issues facing modern societies, and it provided an opportunity for colleagues and collaborators to mark the significance of Lafferty’s contributions to research, particularly in the area of the environment and sustainable development. Lafferty’s distinguished academic career spans more than four decades. He held a series of positions, including: Director of Research at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo; Director of Doctoral Studies for the Research Council of Norway at the Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Oslo; Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo; and Professor of Strategic Research for Sustainable Development in Europe, Centre for Clean Technology and Environmental Policy (CSTM), University of Twente, in the Netherlands. Over the years Lafferty has made important contributions to research, education and international collaboration. His research activity can be divided into two basic phases. During the earlier period his work focused on the labour movement, social democracy and the Nordic welfare state (see for example: Lafferty 1971; Lafferty 1975; Lafferty 1981; Lafferty and Hagtvet 1984; Lafferty and...