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Projectified environmental governance and challenges of institutional change toward sustainability

Munck af Rosenschöld Johan

Publications of the Faculty of social Sciences 46 (2017) Social and Pubic Policy Research has shown that we are facing multiple urgent sustainability challenges in the ways in which our societies are organized. To address these challenges, we need governance systems that are adaptive in order to absorb new knowledge and creative in order to generate innovative solutions. Yet, institutions, including rules, norms, and cognitive structures, have a tendency to resist change. We thus encounter a basic dilemma: rapid institutional change is required to move toward sustainability, but efforts aimed at achieving change are generally slowed down by existing institutional orders. This study explores the role of projects in generating institutional change toward sustainability. Utilizing projects to implement public policy has been put forward as a fruitful approach to create new knowledge and visions as well as manage uncertainties and unpredictabilities in contemporary environmental governance. To explore the role of projects in institutional change processes, this study focuses on the capacity of projects to include a broad representation of actors and knowledge, to promote deliberation among project participants, and to generate and diffuse new knowledge produced in projects. By analyzing two policy programs, the European Union’s LEADER Program and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program of the United States Department of Agriculture, this study provides insight into the potential and challenges of projects to generate institutional change and critically evaluates the relationship between projects and permanent organizations. This study also proposes an alternative approach to conceptualizing projects in institutional change processes in public policy settings, which facilitates our understanding of the role of projects in organizing efforts toward sustainability.


20 €

  • Julkaisija Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta (Helsingin yliopisto)
    Julkaisuvuosi 2017
    Sivumäärä 150
    Kieli Suomi
    Sarjat Valtiotieteellisen tiedekunnan julkaisuja
    Ulkoasu B5,pehmeäkantinen
    ISBN 9789515125972
    ISSN 2343-273X