Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy
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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.
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Chapter 11: Local Climate Mitigation and Network Governance: Progressive Policy Innovation or Status Quo in Disguise?

Jamil Khan


Jamil Khan INTRODUCTION Many municipalities around the world have taken a pioneering role in tackling climate change, making the local level an important political arena for climate governance (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2003; Coenen and Menkveld, 2002; Collier, 1997). The proliferation of transnational climate networks between municipalities has led to a diffusion of autonomous local climate governance that is independent of states or international institutions (Kern and Bulkeley, 2009). Although the climate goals of pioneer municipalities are often more ambitious than those enacted by national governments or international organizations, these municipalities face great challenges since they lack authority to enforce policy compliance (Betsill and Bulkeley 2007). In order to attain effective implementation of mitigation measures, it is therefore necessary to forge consensus among different municipal actors around ambitious climate policy goals. Against this background, this chapter examines network governance as an important aspect of local climate politics. In line with Chapter 5, network governance can be understood as a ‘new’ mode of governance since it involves the participation of private actors (business, NGOs) in the policy and implementation process, and is based on a mix of hierarchical and non-hierarchical forms of steering (Bogason and Musso, 2006; Koimann, 2003; Pierre and Peters, 2000). In network governance, the municipality is a facilitator rather than commander and implementer. As such it does not replace hierarchical forms of steering based on administrative rationality, but exists alongside these more traditional modes of governance. This chapter pays particular attention to the ‘promise’ of network governance in local...

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