Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance
Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand
Chapter 12: Environmental Politics after the Deliberative Turn
Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Khan, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand In this book we have combined theoretical inquiry with empirical investigations in order to answer the question: can new modes of governance ensure effective environmental policy performance as well as deliberative and participatory quality? This overarching research question was inspired by a general observation that the study and practice of environmental politics has taken a deliberative turn in recent years. We have found evidence of such a turn in the increased attention paid to procedural qualities of the policy process, such as participation, dialogue, transparency and accountability. In this book we have approached the recent proliferation of new modes of environmental governance as our case in point. While typically associated with less hierarchical and ‘softer’ forms of steering, we have argued that governance arrangements such as stakeholder dialogues, citizen juries, network governance, and public–private partnerships also rest upon a normative agenda to open up politics and make environmental decision-making more inclusive, transparent, accountable, reflexive and effective. By involving public and private actors in collective decision-making, new modes of environmental governance hold the promise to bring about both more legitimate and effective policy outcomes. A central aim of this book has been to critically scrutinize this promise. In order to do so in a theoretically informed way, the chapters in Part I traced the deliberative turn and the promise of new modes of governance in scholarly work such as green political theory, international relations, science and technology studies and...
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