Miljöintegrering i praktisk tillämpning En policystudie av två lokala stadsutvecklingsprocesser
Dealing with environmental problems has become one of the most challenging political issues of our time. Since the Brundtland report in 1987, environmental policy integration (EPI) that is, the mainstreaming of environmental issues in all policy sectors has emerged as a viable policy solution. This has meant that responsibility for implementing environmental policy rests to a large extent on local authorities where environmental problems with both local and global consequences are expected to be handled. However, there is still a disagreement on what EPI means in day-to-day decision making. With a theoretical framework drawing from theory on policy change, policy entrepreneurship and the neoinstitutional “logic of appropriateness” the aim of this dissertation is to analyze how the integration of environmental considerations manifests itself in local policy processes, highlighting what factors foster or hinder EPI. To reach this aim, I have followed two urban development processes in Kristianstad. This research offers insights on how EPI varies through the policy process and how focus is placed mainly on certain environmental issues and chiefly defined as of local importance. My study suggest that arenas for coordination are critical to overcoming the perceived “gap” between EPI on a strategic level and its implementation. This can help to clarify responsibility allocation among bureaucrats and their leeway for interpretation when new issues comes up continuously during the processes and affect the conditions for EPI. Furthermore, the dissertation gives insights on how acting “entrepreneurially” can enable an environmental issue to be included and given priority. This can also be a barrier if the ones acting entrepreneurially are not part of the entire process because the issue might receive less attention. In addition, if too much attention is given to one issue it might overshadow other environmental issues. Conversely, acting according to “the logic of appropriateness” can enable EPI by enhancing a more all-encompassing perspective on environmental considerations and also function as a cautious approach to radical change by preventing measures taken in absence of democratic legitimacy. By using the two theoretical perspectives, “entrepreneurial” and “appropriate” agency, this dissertation offers important insights into how different ways of acting interact and affect EPI and its outcome.
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