Participation, Deliberation and Sustainability: Governance beyond rhetoric in the domains of Climate, Forestry and Food Safety

Project leader

Funding source

Formas - The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 6400000 SEK


The project examines an assumption underpinning the participatory turn in the governance literature that asserts that policy-making will be more effective if citizens are included in policy making. The aim is to critically evaluate how policy innovations set to increase participation and deliberation have been employed in three different domains. The project assesses if such innovations can effectively address what social science perceives as the main problems of sustainability governance arrangements: the implementation and the legitimacy gap. The approach is critical and does not view participation as the ultimate solution for sustainability governance, on the contrary, such governance forms can be more problematic than its enthusiastic proponents argue. The project represents a coherent, interdisciplinary, effort to examine the links between new modes of participation, governance arrangements and the sustainable development agenda. The project asks to what extent have new participatory modes of governance permeated different policy domains, such as climate, forestry and food safety. It tries to answer whether the adoption of participatory and deliberative mechanisms for stakeholder, citizen and public participation has enhanced problem-solving capacity and led to effective implementation. Finally, by comparing across cases, the project provides insights about the challenges with bottom-up governance as well as lessons and good practices learned through the domains studied.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:16