Just the usual suspects? Partnerships and environmental regulation

Kirsty L. Sherlock, Elizabeth A. Kirk, Alison D. Reeves

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    46 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Governance based on partnerships has become a characteristic of late capitalist societies. This paper explores how this new collaborative approach to environmental regulation creates challenges for existing technocratic policy networks, drawing on an organisational ethnography of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Our findings suggest partnership working is embraced for four reasons -- to improve understanding of problems, to develop resource-efficient management solutions, to improve implementation of these solutions, and to improve communication and trust within the policy network. However, there appear to be three areas of difficulty. First, decisionmaking appears to be dominated by technocratic public servants; second, practical reasons for partnership, rather than embracing the normative arguments for discursive democracy, motivate most participants; and, third, participants are yet to experience the benefits of partnerships. We suggest three key areas which might address these problems and contribute towards a more successful implementation of the collaborative approach to regulation, namely to provide incentives for partnership working (demonstrating how the perceived benefits outweigh costs), developing interorganisational trust and providing organisational support (resources). We conclude with an analysis of the constraints that must be overcome to develop effective partnerships for environmental management, particularly the need to extend the network beyond the 'usual suspects' and to embrace the normative dimensions of participatory democracy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)651-666
    Number of pages16
    JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
    Volume22
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Fingerprint

    democracy
    regulation
    resource
    environmental management
    incentive
    communication
    servants
    resources
    ethnography
    policy
    capitalist society
    governance
    costs
    management
    cost-benefit
    public
    analysis
    society
    experience

    Keywords

    • Environmental regulation
    • Partnership working
    • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
    • SEPA

    Cite this

    @article{d518c6dd7e7d41aba02831187d717614,
    title = "Just the usual suspects? Partnerships and environmental regulation",
    abstract = "Governance based on partnerships has become a characteristic of late capitalist societies. This paper explores how this new collaborative approach to environmental regulation creates challenges for existing technocratic policy networks, drawing on an organisational ethnography of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Our findings suggest partnership working is embraced for four reasons -- to improve understanding of problems, to develop resource-efficient management solutions, to improve implementation of these solutions, and to improve communication and trust within the policy network. However, there appear to be three areas of difficulty. First, decisionmaking appears to be dominated by technocratic public servants; second, practical reasons for partnership, rather than embracing the normative arguments for discursive democracy, motivate most participants; and, third, participants are yet to experience the benefits of partnerships. We suggest three key areas which might address these problems and contribute towards a more successful implementation of the collaborative approach to regulation, namely to provide incentives for partnership working (demonstrating how the perceived benefits outweigh costs), developing interorganisational trust and providing organisational support (resources). We conclude with an analysis of the constraints that must be overcome to develop effective partnerships for environmental management, particularly the need to extend the network beyond the 'usual suspects' and to embrace the normative dimensions of participatory democracy.",
    keywords = "Environmental regulation, Partnership working, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), SEPA",
    author = "Sherlock, {Kirsty L.} and Kirk, {Elizabeth A.} and Reeves, {Alison D.}",
    note = "dc.publisher: Pion",
    year = "2004",
    doi = "10.1068/c03110s",
    language = "English",
    volume = "22",
    pages = "651--666",
    journal = "Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy",
    issn = "0263-774X",
    publisher = "Pion",
    number = "5",

    }

    Just the usual suspects? Partnerships and environmental regulation. / Sherlock, Kirsty L.; Kirk, Elizabeth A.; Reeves, Alison D.

    In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 22, No. 5, 2004, p. 651-666.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Just the usual suspects? Partnerships and environmental regulation

    AU - Sherlock, Kirsty L.

    AU - Kirk, Elizabeth A.

    AU - Reeves, Alison D.

    N1 - dc.publisher: Pion

    PY - 2004

    Y1 - 2004

    N2 - Governance based on partnerships has become a characteristic of late capitalist societies. This paper explores how this new collaborative approach to environmental regulation creates challenges for existing technocratic policy networks, drawing on an organisational ethnography of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Our findings suggest partnership working is embraced for four reasons -- to improve understanding of problems, to develop resource-efficient management solutions, to improve implementation of these solutions, and to improve communication and trust within the policy network. However, there appear to be three areas of difficulty. First, decisionmaking appears to be dominated by technocratic public servants; second, practical reasons for partnership, rather than embracing the normative arguments for discursive democracy, motivate most participants; and, third, participants are yet to experience the benefits of partnerships. We suggest three key areas which might address these problems and contribute towards a more successful implementation of the collaborative approach to regulation, namely to provide incentives for partnership working (demonstrating how the perceived benefits outweigh costs), developing interorganisational trust and providing organisational support (resources). We conclude with an analysis of the constraints that must be overcome to develop effective partnerships for environmental management, particularly the need to extend the network beyond the 'usual suspects' and to embrace the normative dimensions of participatory democracy.

    AB - Governance based on partnerships has become a characteristic of late capitalist societies. This paper explores how this new collaborative approach to environmental regulation creates challenges for existing technocratic policy networks, drawing on an organisational ethnography of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Our findings suggest partnership working is embraced for four reasons -- to improve understanding of problems, to develop resource-efficient management solutions, to improve implementation of these solutions, and to improve communication and trust within the policy network. However, there appear to be three areas of difficulty. First, decisionmaking appears to be dominated by technocratic public servants; second, practical reasons for partnership, rather than embracing the normative arguments for discursive democracy, motivate most participants; and, third, participants are yet to experience the benefits of partnerships. We suggest three key areas which might address these problems and contribute towards a more successful implementation of the collaborative approach to regulation, namely to provide incentives for partnership working (demonstrating how the perceived benefits outweigh costs), developing interorganisational trust and providing organisational support (resources). We conclude with an analysis of the constraints that must be overcome to develop effective partnerships for environmental management, particularly the need to extend the network beyond the 'usual suspects' and to embrace the normative dimensions of participatory democracy.

    KW - Environmental regulation

    KW - Partnership working

    KW - Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

    KW - SEPA

    U2 - 10.1068/c03110s

    DO - 10.1068/c03110s

    M3 - Article

    VL - 22

    SP - 651

    EP - 666

    JO - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

    JF - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

    SN - 0263-774X

    IS - 5

    ER -