Sustainability Governance and Hierarchy  book cover
1st Edition

Sustainability Governance and Hierarchy

Edited By

Philippe Hamman

ISBN 9780367187897
Published June 24, 2019 by Routledge
276 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Sustainability Governance and Hierarchy provides a solid, theoretically and empirically grounded reflection on the concept of "sustainability governance". This idea has been growing in popularity in social science literature, as well as among decision-makers and governance actors, as it brings together two vast fields of study that have sometimes been dismissed as vague or ideologically loaded. In order to link the concepts of "sustainability" and "governance", the book is organized around the exploration of hierarchy issues, which often lie in the background of the existing literature but are not the focus of analysis.

The chapters reflect ongoing controversies and dialogue between scientists with different theoretical and thematic backgrounds, who are all willing to participate in and contribute to a constructive effort to reach a more inclusive and more theoretically relevant stage for sustainability studies, being content with merely global analyses. The book is an innovative contribution to the hierarchy/non-hierarchy debate regarding governance arrangements in the field of sustainability and sustainability studies.

This book will be of interest to advanced students and scholars focusing on governance issues, sustainability studies, environmental studies, as well as on the methodological aspects of the social sciences (economy, geography, law, philosophy, political science, sociology, urbanism and planning).


This book is published with the support of the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Upper Rhine Interreg V programme, as part of the "Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research" project.

The book has benefited from the assistance of Jean-Yves Bart, from the editing service of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme - Alsace, in the proofreading of some chapters.

Table of Contents

Lists of figures, maps, tables

List of contributors

Preface & Acknowledgements


part I

Conceptual issues and framework

1. Rethinking Hierarchy in Sustainability Governance. A Literature Review

Philippe Hamman

2. Toward Systematic Understandings of Sustainability Governance. A Conceptual Meta-Framework

Basil Bornemann, Philipp Lange and Paul Burger


Part II

New frames for thinking and implementing economic policy, law and public administration

3. Why Does Promoting Energy Efficiency not Contradict the Paradigm of Sustainability? A Normative Approach Using the Pareto Criterion

Bianca Blum, Bernhard Neumärker and Anja Simoneit

4. Urban Planning and Adaptation to Climate Change. A Legal Perspective

Vincent Tissot and Marie-Pierre Camproux-Duffrène

5. Sustainabilizing the Government Machinery? Exploring Sustainability-Oriented Transformations of Internal Governance in Swiss Cantons

Basil Bornemann and Marius Christen


Part III

Governance of energy transition and territorial metabolism: reframing sustainability politics/policies

6. (Self-)Governing Urban Energy Transitions: From Revolution to Evolution?

Jens Koehrsen

7. Governance for Sufficiency: A New Approach to a Contested Field

Paul Burger, Iljana Schubert and Annika Sohre

8. Governance of Urban Metabolism: When a System Creates Its Own Limitations

Maurice Wintz

Part IV

Rethinking the "sustainable city" project as a procedural issue: between institutional regulations and social linkages

9. Urban Sustainability Governance and Social Transactions in France. A Social Sciences Perspective

Philippe Hamman

10. For a New Conception of the Metropolis. The "Danube" Eco-District in Strasbourg as a New Model for Urban Governance and an Experiment in Local Democracy

Patricia Zander

11. Governance for Sustainability in European Cities

Cristina Garzillo and Matthew Bach



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Philippe Hamman is Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Urbanism and Regional Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Strasbourg, France


"Sustainability Governance and Hierarchy is an inspiring collection of essays in the broader field of environmental social sciences. Drawing on empirically grounded work and theoretical reflection the contributions of this volume provide a valuable resource for teaching and research activities."
Tim Freytag, University of Freiburg


"With this volume, Philippe Hamman brings together original and timely contributions from excellent scholars. The focus on governance and sustainability, documenting the ways in which public and private actors explore new forms of engagement and redefine their legitimacy, provides an impressive overview and a comprehensive understanding of society/nature relationships in European cities."
Pierre Hamel, Université de Montréal


"Sustainability is a popular issue which can often produce misunderstandings, having different meanings on an international level. Philippe Hamman's book is a major resource for experts, citizens and policy makers trying to work towards a sustainable Europe."
Maurice Blanc, Urban Institute, Strasbourg Univesrity