Environmental policy in its broadest context has been significantly revitalized and renewed during the last two decades. That observation is nothing new, attested to by the number of publications, conferences and both private and public projects that have been initiated. However, our understanding of the dynamics of this renewal has generally been informed by studies on single policies and projects, leaving us with a limited understanding of what the `newness' consists of in terms of an integrated perspective.
This book presents fresh analyses of a number of well-known cases, but does so from one comprehensive view, the so-called policy arrangement approach. Cases discussed range over organic farming, integrated water management, nature policy, cultural heritage policy, integrated region-oriented policy, corporate environmental management and target group policy, always in search of the commonality of experience and conclusions to be drawn in understanding the past and in formulating future perspectives.
A major conclusion can be summarised as `lots of dynamics, not much change'. The observed dynamics mainly result from discursive innovations and from the entrance of new actors and stakeholders. Stability of new undertakings is provided by established power relations and other pre-existing institutional structures. In this interplay of dynamics and stability, `deep' policy change has rarely been found. Government still remains more important than governance. At the same time, though, societal developments such as Europeanisation, globalisation and individualisation, are tending to both reveal the need for, and induce steps toward, more fundamental changes. Traces of such movement are indeed observable, if less dramatic than expected.
About the Authors. List of tables. List of figures.- 1. Institutional Dynamics in Environmental Governance.- 2. Political Modernisation.- 3. The Dynamics of Policy Arrangements: Turning Round the Tetrahedron.- 4. The Governance Capacity of (new) Policy Arrangements: a Reflexive Approach.- 5. The Institutional Dynamics of Water Management in the Low Countries.- 6. High Noon in the Low Countries: Recent Nature Policy Dynamics in the Netherlands and in Flanders.- 7. Dynamics in Nature Policy Practices across the European Union.- 8. Diffusion or Diversity in Cultural Heritage Preservation? Comparing Policy Arrangements in Norway, Arizona and the Netherlands.- 9. Dutch Rural Policies at a Turning Point.- 10. Regional Environmental Planning in the Netherlands: an Unstable Settlement of Policy Arrangements.- 11. Corporate Environmental Management in the Netherlands and in the Czech Republic.- 12. A Target Group Approach in Flemish Environmental Policy: Establishing New Government-Industry Relations- 13. Institutional Processes in Environmental Governance: Lots of Dynamics, not Much Change? Index.