Sweden is seen as a forerunner in environmental and ecological policy. This book is about policies and strategies for ecologically rational governance, and uses the Swedish case study to ask whether or not it is possible to move from a traditional environmental policy to a broad, integrated pursuit of sustainable development, as illustrated through the ‘Sustainable Sweden’ programme. It begins by looking at the spatial dimensions of ecological governance, and goes on to consider the integration and effectiveness of sustainable development policies. The book analyses the tension between democracy and sustainable development, which has a broader relevance beyond the Swedish model, to other nation states as well as the European Union as a whole. It offers the latest word in advanced implementation of sustainable development.
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 considers the spatial dimensions of ecological governance. It explains that space is of central concern to rational ecological governance and discusses Elinor Ostrom's opinion that ecosystem-based governance is one of congruence between a natural ecosystem and the unit of governance for that system. This chapter analyses ideas on ecosystem management in order to formulate operational criteria for evaluating Sweden's performance in terms of spatially rational ecological governance. It also argues that the idea of nested enterprises does imply that multi-faceted interests and uses of shared natural resources can be organised into a proper response to problems of ecological governance.
This chapter focuses on the so-called ecology cycle and Sweden's strategies for temporally rational ecological governance. It discusses the criteria for temporally rational ecological governance and relevance of land use planning and restrictions for ecological governance. This chapter proposes management by objectives (MBO) as a flexible way of moving towards commonly formulated and shared views of a future state of affairs. It also argues that temporally rational ecological governance is not just about how to arrange political institutions to take account of different life cycles and time scales important to the balance of ecosystems, it is also about ‘just in time’ political accountability.
This chapter examines the role of science and of knowledge in environmental and resource management and in ecological governance. It discusses the criteria for knowledge-based and democratic ecological governance and describes the organising knowledge for sustainable resource governance. It considers solution-oriented research to develop green technology and the political fight to control strategic environmental research. This chapter stresses the need to move towards a multi-faceted relationship between science, politics and market actors and highlights the importance of monitoring and providing common knowledge for policy-making and evaluation.
This chapter focuses on attempts to improve the effectiveness and integration of ecological governance in Sweden. It suggests that an environmental policy is fully integrated when it satisfies the three criteria of comprehensiveness, consistency and aggregation. It explains that effective integration means that environmental concerns are taken into account at all stages and levels of policy- and decision-making with as little sacrifice as possible in terms of time, money and human input. This chapter also discusses early signs of policy coordination and sectoral environmental responsibility and the common responsibility for sustainable development.
This chapter highlights the importance of achieving the right balance between democracy and ecological governance. It explains that while ecological governance for sustainability must profoundly affect all and everyone in order to be successful, it cannot achieve legitimacy without offering each and everyone a possibility to participate in the formation and implementation of such governance. This chapter discusses ways by which democratic participation could be promoted and individual autonomy safeguarded in a system of governance geared towards ecological sustainability. It characterizes the formal ecological governance in Sweden as an open political process which provides common access to information and safeguards individual rights and freedom of choice.
Governmental power and authority in democratic ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist
This chapter examines how the emerging system of ecological governance in Sweden affects the political authority of democratic national government. It explains that governments engaging in efforts to bring about sustainable development are expected to encounter political opposition and competition among conflicting values and interests. It contends that sustainable development presents complications to both the normative delineation of legitimate political authority and the empirical views of government's role in governance. This chapter suggests that the balance between authority and autonomy in Swedish ecological governance may have to be reconsidered as the cross-generational striving for sustainable development proceeds in the years to come.
On the possibility of sustainability and democracy in advanced industrial nations
Lennart J. Lundqvist
This chapter evaluates whether the Swedish government is actually straddling the fence over to sustainable development and whether this expands or limits citizens' opportunities to make autonomous choices of the good life. Though much of the Swedish strategy for a sustainable society is still in the making, it has done enough to warrant some conclusions as to the prospects for ecologically rational governance and outline some crucial aspects of governance as a conceptual framework for studying how societies try to solve their relationships to the natural environment. This chapter considers the Swedish case in relation to the arguments put forth in recent comparative studies of environmental politics and policies for sustainable development.