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Governing the Environment

Governing the Environment: Persistent Challenges, Uncertain Innovations

Edited by Edward A. Parson
Series: Trends Project
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 416
  • Book Info
    Governing the Environment
    Book Description:

    This collection of seven essays, authored by leading Canadian academics, examines different aspects of the relationship between government and environmental issues.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7546-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Laura A. Chapman
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xi-2)
  6. 1. Environmental Trends: A Challenge to Canadian Governance
    (pp. 3-30)
    Edward A. Parson

    Environmental protection is the most prominent new domain of politics and public policy to arise over the past few decades, in Canada and internationally. Though the roots of environmentalism can be traced to the turn-of-the-century conservation movement, or still further to English reformers’ revulsion at the ‘dark satanic mills’ of the early industrial revolution, the modern environmental movement arose in the 1960s, driven first by concern about radioactive contamination from atmospheric nuclear tests and, subsequently, by concerns about toxic pesticides and air and water pollution. In the early 1970s widespread environmental concern, both popular and elite, spurred a new wave...

  7. 2. Using Science in Environmental Policy: Can Canada Do Better?
    (pp. 31-72)
    Ted Schrecker

    In the summer of 1997, Canadians were offered an unusually candid examination of how our government uses science in making environmental policy. Three respected scientists, one of whom had only recently left the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), published a stinging article in which they argued that ‘bureaucratic influence’ had seriously compromised the scientific basis for fisheries management.¹ To support this claim, they cited the history of overly optimistic stock assessments that contributed to the eventual collapse of the north Atlantic cod fishery in 1992, and the questionable scientific basis for DFO’s position on the minimum water flows from...

  8. 3. Spatial Proportionality: Right-Sizing Environmental Decision-Making
    (pp. 73-124)
    Robert Paehlke

    The appropriate jurisdictional level for environmental policy decision-making has long been widely contested and discussed. The open-endedness of this discussion is based in part on the fact that most national constitutions and jurisdictional arrangements pre-date the era of strong political support for environmental concerns, which some analysts date from 1960 and others, more loosely, from the period following the Second World War.¹ Jurisdictional uncertainty also derives from the advantages in terms of effectiveness that can be argued for each and every jurisdictional level from local to global. It is worth noting that historically the strongest environmental-policy initiatives have most often...

  9. 4. Regional Models of Environmental Governance in the Context of Market Integration
    (pp. 125-168)
    Luc Juillet

    In the current context of the globalization of economic and social relations, regional and international governance regimes are influencing the way we govern ourselves and our relationship to the natural world. Post-national governance regimes, like the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Community (EC), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), are playing a significant role in defining the relationship between international trade rules and environmental-protection measures. Their approach to integrating environmental concerns with trade-liberalization objectives will have important implications for the management of the conflicts emerging between free trade and environmental protection.

    This paper examines the institutional arrangements...

  10. 5. Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Their Role in Shaping Environmental Trends in the Twenty-first Century
    (pp. 169-206)
    Patricia Doyle-Bedwell and Fay G. Cohen

    On 1 April 1999, Nunavut, which means ‘our home’ in Inuktituk, became the third territory in Canada. The new flag features an image of aninuksuk,the type of stone assemblage used by Inuit to guide people on the land and to mark sacred and other special places. The North Star,Niqirtsituk,guides navigation and remains unchanged, like the leadership of the community elders.¹ Nunavut, carved out of the Northwest Territories, covers an area one-fifth the size of Canada.² It is a unique political unit in the world today. Aboriginal³ people hold a numerical majority in the population of 50,000....

  11. 6. Voluntarism and Environmental Governance
    (pp. 207-246)
    Kathryn Harrison

    In recent years, governments throughout the world have expressed increasing dissatisfaction with ‘command and control’ environmental regulation, which is widely criticized as economically inefficient, adversarial, and administratively cumbersome. However, despite decades of advice from academic policy analysts, few governments have embraced market-based forms of regulation, such as marketable permits and discharge fees, as the leading alternative to traditional regulation. Rather, in recent years governments of industrialized countries have increasingly experimented with a variety of less coercive policy instruments predicated on cooperation between the state and business. ‘Cooperation’ and ‘partnership’ are thus gradually replacing ‘command and control’ in the environmental policy...

  12. 7. Great Expectations, Mixed Results: Trends in Citizen Involvement in Canadian Environmental Governance
    (pp. 247-302)
    Anthony H.J. Dorcey and Timothy McDaniels

    The trend toward greater citizen involvement (CI) is beyond doubt one of the most influential and yet least well-defined aspects of environmental decision-making in Canada and other countries. How a nation involves its citizens in defining, structuring, and analysing key environmental questions can have a major influence on what is decided. The emergence of this trend is demonstrated by the proliferation of diverse CI efforts in environmental governance processes around the world. Its growing importance is underscored by recent recommendations for greater CI in environmental policy and sustainability choices, such as those by Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment...

  13. 8. Complex Network Management and the Governance of the Environment: Prospects for Policy Change and Policy Stability over the Long Term
    (pp. 303-344)
    Michael Howlett

    Contemporary governance takes place within a very different context than that of past decades. Government capacity in terms of human and organizational resources has increased, but its autonomy or ability to effect change independently has been eroded. This is due, at the international level, to the growth of powerful international and transnational actors and systems of exchange.² At the domestic level, however, modern governments have also been affected by the restructuring of societies into complex networks of interorganizational actors.³ As a result of both movements, states have undergone a kind of ‘hollowing’ out, as various functions and activities traditionally undertaken...

  14. 9. Persistent Challenges, Uncertain Innovations: A Synthesis
    (pp. 345-380)
    Edward A. Parson

    The papers collected in this volume have discussed a set of fundamental challenges that confront the governance of environmental issues in Canada over the coming few decades: their dependence on uncertain and evolving scientific knowledge; their complex linkages across multiple scales of distance and authority; their vulnerability and present subordination to the drive for economic globalization; and their evocation of deep differences in values. While these challenges are not new, they are increasing in severity as environmental stresses from human activities worldwide are growing sharper. Moreover, this increase in severity is occurring at a time of general worldwide diminution of...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 381-430)