Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 495737
Title Making government more reflexive : the role of regulatory impact assessment
Author(s) Hertin, J.
Source University. Promotor(en): Peter Feindt. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576384 - 160 p.
Department(s) Strategic Communication
WASS
Publication type Dissertation, internally prepared
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) administrative law - administration - european union - sustainability - policy - sustainable development - eu regulations - regulations - bestuursrecht - bestuur - europese unie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - beleid - duurzame ontwikkeling - eu regelingen - regelingen
Categories Information and Society
Abstract

The thesis explores whether and how analytical activities during the policy formulation process - typically referred to as Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) - contribute to a reorientation of policy-making towards the goals of sustainable development. During the 1990s and the 2000s, many OECD countries introduced, extended or formalised proce-dures for RIA. Many of these reforms also stated to aim at giving more regard to sus-tainability issues. In the political science literature on environmental policy integration, such appraisal procedures have been considered as an important instrument to ensure that environmental effects of new measures play a more prominent role in decision-making processes.

Based on extensive empirical analysis involving a review of all RIA procedures in the EU as well as 59 case studies of individual assessments, the research aims to establish to what extent and under what conditions these procedures contribute to sustainable de-velopment in practice.

The research finds that RIA offers opportunities to give more prominence to ecological concerns in sectoral policy-making practice, but also contains a considerable risk that narrow assessment practices contribute to sidelining sustainable development. The re-search observes not only a large implementation gap, but reveals that even in cases where a substantial RIA is undertaken, the process functions very differently from what has been envisioned both in guidance documents and in the environmental policy inte-gration literature. After analysing the actual roles of assessment knowledge in policy processes, the study concludes that the positivist perspective underlying both theory and practice of policy appraisal is inadequate to account for its political and practical uses.

The thesis then moves on to adopt the more post-positivist perspective of reflexive gov-ernance which implies a fundamentally different set of expectations about the uses and effects of policy appraisal. By reinterpreting the empirical material from this theoretical lens, the study finds considerable potential for RIA to serve as a reflexive governance arrangement, but also identifies a number of structural limitations. Five approaches for making RIA more reflexive are identified: focusing on the function of opening up rather than closing down decision-making; increasing participation; defining process rather than material standards; extending the appraisal towards frame reflexivity; and understanding RIA as boundary work. The thesis concludes with the argument that the reflexive gov-ernance literature should not only develop and study new government arrangements outside the core institutions of representative democracies, but undertake more efforts to identify opportunities to reshape the working of the classical-modernist institutions in more reflexive ways to foster more integrative and sustainable policy-making/to improve environmental governance.

Comments
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.