This book analyses the evolution of the sustainability discourse in the European Union, exploring the conditions necessary for sustainable development to move from a conceptual model into a model for action for strategic decision makers at all levels of governance.
This book questions the extent to which the discourse on sustainability has become embedded into governance structures in Europe. It focuses on the importance of the nature of the language of the political discourse on sustainability and how ideas are communicated amongst the actors and stakeholders in the policy making process, as well as assessing the conceptual, political, institutional and operational barriers apparent across the European geographic region. Drawing case studies from numerous policy areas including climate change, EU emissions trading scheme, renewable energy, nuclear energy, the European integrated energy market, transport mobility, and environmental protection, expert contributors unveil a narrowing of the discourse on sustainability that has taken place in Europe. However, a considerable discontinuity remains between the economic and environmental objectives of sustainable development, and the authors argue that it is essential that conditions for a dynamic discourse, open to multiple participants, are developed.
Sustainable Development and Governance in Europe will be of strong interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, governance, sustainable development and environmental politics and studies.
Introduction: Establishing the research questions and methodological framework Part I: Reflections on complex and contested concepts 1. Linking the discourse on sustainability and governance Pamela M. Barnes and Thomas C. Hoerber 2. Governance for sustainability in the European Union – a post-political project Lisa Griffin 3. The impact of the ‘de-growth’ perspective on the sustainability discourse Assen Slim 4. Sustainable development : a floating signifier in the EU’s energy policy discourse? Irene Koegl and Kristina Kurze Part II: The sustainable discourse at European level 5. A Common Market and Sustainable Energy for Europe Florian Baumann 6. The European Energy Policy and its green dimension – discursive hegemony and policy variations in the greening of energy policy Israel Solorio, Mischa Bechberger and Lucia Popartan 7. The changing fortunes of nuclear energy in the sustainability discourse Pamela M. Barnes 8. The future of EURATOM in a European sustainable energy strategy Thomas C. Hoerber 9. EU Sustainable mobility – between economic and environmental discourses Helene Dyrhauge 10. The European Union’s emissions trading scheme - a post-political tool for strengthening integration and wide-reaching sustainability? Lydia Kernevez Part III: The sustainable discourse at national and sub-national level 11. The sustainable development discourse in post- Communist Central and Eastern Europe (the case of Romania) Simona Davidescu 12. The UK’s devolved authorities and the European Sustainability discourse: between identity and actor hierarchy Patricia Hogwood 13. The evolution of carbon capitalism in the English regions: sustainable mitigation, carbon modernization, and selective carbon economies William Eadson 14. Governance, sustainability and deliberation: reflections from a UK case study of sustainable waste management Richard Bull Conclusion: Not one discourse but many? Pamela M. Barnes and Thomas C.Hoerber