Mainstreaming the environment through appraisal: integrative governance or logics of disintegration?
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by SAGE Publications. No embargo required on publication.
In both national and international circles, environmental policy makers are repeatedly faced with the challenges posed by scientific, institutional and administrative fragmentation and complexity. Within this context, appraisal – of policies, programmes and projects - has been repeatedly advocated as a key integration tool that can help policy makers navigate such fragmentation and complexity by better integrating environmental concerns into decision making. In this paper we examine the challenges that are posed for Integrative Governance (IG), defined as the theories and practices that focus on the relationships between policy instruments and/or governance systems (Visseren-Hamakers 2015), from the perspective of efforts to integrate environmental considerations into all sectors of decision making via appraisal. Drawing on institutional theory, we explore the cross-sectoral and multi-level institutional challenges surrounding the integration of environmental considerations across different levels of appraisal. We do so by examining appraisal in the European Commission, and at the national, regional and local level in the UK. We argue that conflicts between different ‘logics of integration’ – or disintegration – routinely hamper the integration of environmental concerns between governance levels and across governance sectors. These logics include differences between appraisal systems; between appraising in theory and in practice; between different sectors; and between the fragmented professional logics of different policy actors.
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