This chapter examines the extent to which policy measures taken in Sweden to achieve ecologically sustainable development shape and/or rearrange the structures and processes of governance in such a way that the collective outcome is ecologically rational and democratically acceptable. It explains the specific criteria for what constitutes a system of ecological governance with an institutional logic of ecological rationality and discusses the relations between society and the natural environment. The multiple spatial scales of society-environment relationships indicate that an ecologically rational system of governance is a multi-level endeavour.
This chapter shows the responsibilities and goals of newly elected representatives and senators. It first describes the kinds of people who get elected into Congress, and then lists the different goals of the new members of Congress. This is followed by a list of the different ways a member of Congress can achieve his/her goals, including policy specialisation and pork barrel. The chapter also cites two examples – the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and term limits – that show the subtleties involved in Congressional decision making.
This chapter discusses the floor deliberations and debates in Congress, which are sometimes televised live. It reveals that very few members are present during typical debates, although more members can be summoned to the chamber when a vote is called or a quorum count is to be held. The chapter states that the floor debate determines the final fate of legislation, and then compares the debates held in the House of Representatives with the debates held in the Senate. It discusses amendments and their main purpose, before studying the differences between voting in the Senate and in the House, and ends with a section on the House–Senate Conference, which serves to reconcile the Senate and the House before the legislation is sent to the President for signing.