Polity for sustainability: Conceptualizing national sustainability institutions for empirical analysis

Aktivität: Vorträge und GastvorlesungenKonferenzvorträgeForschung

Michael Rose - Sprecher*in

Okka Lou Mathis - Ko-Autor*in

Michael Rose - Ko-Autor*in

Jens Newig - Ko-Autor*in

Steffen Bauer - Ko-Autor*in

The global sustainability and climate agendas hinge on action at the national political level. As a response, governments around the world have established specialised public bodies covering councils, committees, commissions or ombudspersons for sustainability, sustainable development or future generations (Maurer 1999; EEAC 2019). We subsume these bodies under “sustainability institutions” (SIs). They reflect a shift to the “sustainability state” (Hausknost and Hammond 2020; Heinrichs and
Laws 2014).
Despite their increasing prevalence, there is little comparative research on SIs’ characteristics or impact, and studies on the Global South are particularly rare (Maurer 1999; Niestroy 2007; Göll and Thio 2008; Dirth 2016; Rose 2017; Breuer, Leininger, and Tosun 2019). Our motivation is to assess whether SIs effectively promote sustainability in political decision-making. In this paper, we prepare the conceptual grounds for empirical research by addressing: 1) What are sustainability institutions? 2) Which formal characteristics matter for their impact potential?
First, we define SIs as cross-sectoral, permanent public bodies dealing with an integrated understanding of sustainability, i.e. linking the ecological and social “dimensions”, considering the long-term scope and
global context.
Second, we introduce an analytical framework for the empirical assessment of SIs along four dimensions. First, we assess their specific functions in sustainability governance, ranging from horizontal, vertical and societal integration to the provision of long-term and global scopes. Second, we
look at their intended roles in decision-making drawing upon the policy cycle. Third, we address formal political power along concrete instruments with varying degrees of coerciveness, ranging from policy recommendations to veto rights. Lastly, we account for principles of good governance in the set-up of
SIs like transparency and accountability.


28. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Wir haben die Wahl! Politik in Zeiten von Unsicherheit und Autokratisierung - DVPW 2021: Wir haben die Wahl! Politik in Zeiten von Unsicherheit und Autokratisierung


Veranstaltung: Konferenz