Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance
Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand
Chapter 1: The Promise of New Modes of Environmental Governance
1. The promise of new modes of environmental governance Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Khan, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand In August 2008 the European Commission invited European Union (EU) citizens and stakeholders from industry, trade unions, consumer organizations, environmental NGOs and academia to comment on the design of a future climate treaty beyond 2012. The consultation covered both normative and technical issues and was organized in the form of an online questionnaire distributed via the European Commission’s webpage.1 This attempt to engage public and private actors in a debate over European climate policy exemplifies a governance trend that extends well beyond the EU. We call this trend ‘the deliberative turn’, which we take to mean an increased attention in environmental politics to procedural qualities such as participation, dialogue, transparency and accountability. Although the deliberative turn may be more rhetorical than practical, we argue that it is epitomized by the recent proliferation of ‘new’ modes of environmental governance. During the past decades environmental policies on local, national, EU and global levels have become associated with the rise of less hierarchical and more collaborative governance arrangements (KoehnigArchibugi and Zürn, 2006; Smismans, 2006). Stakeholder dialogues, citizen juries, network governance, public–private partnerships and voluntary standards are some examples of the deliberative, participatory and market-oriented strategies that have gained ground in policy areas such as food safety, forestry and climate change (for example Meadowcroft, 2004; Bäckstrand, 2006, 2008; Lövbrand et al., 2009; Pattberg, 2007). In this book we approach this...
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