Accountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability

Joss, S. 2010. Accountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability. Environmental Policy & Governance. 20 (6), pp. 408-421.

TitleAccountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability
AuthorsJoss, S.
Abstract

This article provides a conceptual framework for, and comparative analysis of, public

accountability in relation to three recent British exemplars of governance for sustainability:

the GM Nation public consultation on the use of genetically modifi ed crops in agriculture;

the South East London Combined Heat and Power waste incinerator to achieve a shift

away from landfi ll waste disposal; and the London Underground public–private partnership to provide more long-term fi nancial and technological investment in a key area of

public transport. Each of these initiatives is characterized by distinct public accountability

features arising partly from the context-specifi c tensions between environmental sustainability and economic and technological development, and partly from the particular governance processes at work. Together, these features point to several signifi cant accountability

shortcomings facing the governance of sustainable development, including: the compartmentalization of decision-making processes; the blurring of boundaries of responsibility;

the prevalence of professional-technocratic discourses; and the marginalization of publicity.

The article concludes by outlining measures to improve accountability in the governance

for sustainability.

JournalEnvironmental Policy & Governance
Journal citation20 (6), pp. 408-421
ISSN1756-932X
Year2010
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/eet.559
Publication dates
Published2010

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