Governance for sustainability:Towards a 'thick' analysis of environmental decision-making

Adger, W Neil, Brown, Katrina, Fairbrass, Jenny ORCID:, Jordan, Andrew ORCID:, Paavola, Jouni, Rosendo, Sergio and Seyfang, Gill ORCID: (2003) Governance for sustainability:Towards a 'thick' analysis of environmental decision-making. Environment and Planning A, 35 (6). pp. 1095-1110.

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Environmental decisions made by individuals, civil society, and the state involve questions of economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, equity, and political legitimacy. These four criteria are constitutive of the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, which has become the dominant rhetorical device of environmental governance. We discuss the tendency for disciplinary research to focus on particular subsets of the four criteria, and argue that such a practice promotes solutions that do not acknowledge the dynamics of scale and the heterogeneity of institutional contexts. We advocate an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of environmental decision making that seeks to identify legitimate and context-sensitive institutional solutions producing equitable, efficient, and effective outcomes. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by using it to examine decisions concerning contested nature conservation and multiple-use commons in the management of Hickling Broad in Norfolk in the United Kingdom. We conclude that interdisciplinary approaches enable the generalisation and transfer of lessons in a way that respects the specifics and context of the issue at hand.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)

University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Responsible Business Regulation Group
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Competition Policy
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2011 09:05
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2023 01:55
DOI: 10.1068/a35289

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