Public–Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development
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Public–Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Emergence, Influence and Legitimacy

Edited by Philipp Pattberg, Frank Biermann, Sander Chan and Ayşem Mert

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg is remembered mainly for the promotion of a novel form of global governance: the so-called ‘partnerships for sustainable development’. This book provides a first authoritative assessment of partnerships for sustainable development, ten years after the Johannesburg Summit.
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Chapter 11: Conclusions: Partnership for Sustainable Development

Philipp Pattberg, Frank Biermann, Sander Chan and Ayşem Mert

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11. Conclusions: partnerships for sustainable development Philipp Pattberg, Frank Biermann, Sander Chan and Ayşem Mert This chapter summarizes our key findings and provides a number of policy recommendations on partnerships for sustainable development. Our research was motivated in particular by the existing knowledge gaps in relation to three distinct areas. First, we sought to better understand the emergence of partnerships for sustainable development, including questions such as: what was the political context surrounding the emergence of partnerships for sustainable development? Who benefitted from the emerging system of partnerships? How can the observed variation in sectoral, functional and geographic spread of partnerships be explained? Second, we were interested in measuring and explaining the effects and broader impacts of partnerships for sustainable development both as an aggregate phenomenon of more than 340 partnerships and as individual partnerships. Here we analysed their concrete problem-solving effectiveness (i.e. partnerships’ contribution to the Millennium Development Goals, the Agenda 21 or the Johannesburg Plan of Action) along with their broader influence in global environmental governance (including unintended effects). Third, we scrutinized the legitimacy of partnerships for sustainable development, including questions such as: how do partnerships perform in terms of their input and output legitimacy? Are partnerships for sustainable development effectively closing the participation gap in global environmental politics? Are partnerships democratizing environmental governance? How legitimate are specific technologies and practices promoted through partnerships for sustainable development? In addition to addressing these knowledge gaps, our research on partnerships for sustainable development was motivated by three more practical...

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