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Straddling the fence

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.

Open Access (free)
On the possibility of sustainability and democracy in advanced industrial nations
Lennart J. Lundqvist

2579Ch8 12/8/03 11:57 AM Page 201 8 Straddling the fence: on the possibility of sustainability and democracy in advanced industrial nations At the heart of this study of Sweden and its efforts to create structures and processes for ecologically rational governance has been the political dilemma posed by sustainable development. Taking as my point of departure the normative question of ‘How are we to govern ourselves so as to value democracy and individual autonomy and still retain the integrity of the commons?’ and by measuring the empirical evidence of

in Sweden and ecological governance
Criteria for ecologically rational governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

2579Ch1 12/8/03 11:46 AM Page 1 1 Where the grass is greener: criteria for ecologically rational governance The (re)discovery of the tragedy of the commons raised a normative question that has haunted students and practitioners of politics ever since: ‘How are we to govern ourselves so as to value democracy and individual autonomy and still retain the integrity of the commons?’ The question implies that the latter – interpreted as ecological sustainability – may prove a formidable challenge to presently existing democratic systems of governance. Practical

in Sweden and ecological governance
Open Access (free)
Governmental power and authority in democratic ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

conflicting values and interests. The pursuit of ecological sustainability adds new dimensions to the steering of human behaviour, and brings to the fore crucial issues about the ecology of governance itself. When push comes to shove, the political legitimacy of the ‘sustainable society’ project depends on how government can and does use its political authority towards other crucial actors in society to bring about ecologically rational governance. Political authority involves power to make decisions that are binding on others and to force these others to act according to

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

problem of designing and coordinating units for ecologically rational governance even more complex. However, I argue 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. I therefore examine the ideas of ecosystem management in order to formulate operational criteria for evaluating Sweden’s performance in terms of spatially rational ecological governance. Ecosystem management – basic features The first issue of ecosystem management is

in Sweden and ecological governance
Open Access (free)
The knowledge base of ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

between science and politics point out several aspects influencing the possibilities of ecologically rational governance to achieve both sustainability and autonomy. Scientifically validated knowledge about what promotes sustainability is increasingly crucial to such governance. But the growing complexity of environmental problems means that the process of obtaining knowledge, and of processing and validating it, creates a need to organise knowledge production, assessment and diffusion. First, by whom should this knowledge be generated and validated, i.e., accepted as

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

directly responsible and fully accountable for ensuring that their policies, programmes, and budgets support development that is ecologically as well as economically sustainable. (WCED 1987:314) The Commission’s words point towards two different but interrelated problems of ecological governance. One problem concerns effectiveness and efficiency. Ecologically rational governance for sustainable development is then seen as a conscious use of strategies to achieve ambitious ecological objectives through policy integration, striving for ‘a lasting, systematic and

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

2579Ch6 12/8/03 11:55 AM Page 148 6 Democracy and ecological governance – a balancing act Sustainability and democracy: a political dilemma Legitimising the balance between sustainability and autonomy; the need for democratic politics As pointed out in Chapter 1, this book builds on the normative argument that ecologically rational governance must strive for sustainability within the limits set by democracy and individual autonomy. The relationship among these values is quite complex. On the one hand, effective and in the longer term successful ecological

in Sweden and ecological governance