The party politics of participatory governance : EU environmental policy and the domestic management of water and marine sustainability
Title: The party politics of participatory governance : EU environmental policy and the domestic management of water and marine sustainability
Author: GAMBERT, Sylvain
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2010
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
The regulation of water and marine resources is undergoing profound structural transformations under the conceptual influence of policy integration and community-based approaches. Including environmental considerations at the early stages of policy-making, as well as acknowledging usage inter-dependencies and their impact on ecosystems, has led to the multiplication of localised participatory policies and multi-stakeholder platforms. In that context, the objective of the PhD is twofold. It aims to analyse how local politics, through political parties, influences those new participatory forms of management, especially in the implementation of EU environmental directives. On the other hand, it explores how the diffusion of participatory norms of governance affects the strategies of political parties. The results show that electoral position and territorial levels strongly condition the local politics of participatory governance. It also provides evidence that collaborative management reduces formal accountability and parties’ political discretion. In that sense, it confirms the cartelisation hypothesis: parties’ governing functions are strengthened, while participatory provisions have relocated the representation of interests outside the party system. The thesis highlights the positive effects of participation and holistic environmental approaches in terms of social regulation and transparency, especially in long-established national administrations. Yet, it questions its environmental strength, namely its capacity to solve deeply entrenched distributive dilemmas and the exclusiveness of social groups’ stakes. Even if multi-stakeholder participation must be appreciated as an empowering and more sustainable process, it is essential that practitioners and academics alike deal with its limitations and political ambiguities.
LC Subject Heading: European Union countries -- Politics and government; Marine resources -- Government policy; Water -- Environmental aspects
Defense date: 10/06/2010; Examining Board: Andrea Lenschow (Univ. Osnabrueck), Peter Mair (EUI) (Supervisor), Claudio Radaelli (Univ. Exeter), Alexander Trechsel (EUI)
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