Governance for Sustainable Development
Full course description
The quest for a sustainable society challenges our political-institutional system, where we observe a shift from a ‘government-model’ to ‘governance-approaches’. However, like sustainable development, governance is a contested concept. It’s about new relations between actors from different societal domains, such as the state, the market, and the civil society. It’s about collective action by multiple actors, involving multiple sectors at multiple scale levels. It’s about new multi-actor constellations, and their structures, institutions, processes, resources and instruments. It’s about different modes of governance, depending on prevailing worldviews and perspectives.
This course provides a governance perspective on sustainable development. Governance practices at global, international, European and local level are examined, with an emphasis on cross-cutting policy issues such as collective action, steering and coordination, implementation, accountability and enforcement, and conflict resolution. New governance approaches which play a pivotal role in the social process towards a more sustainable world will be discussed, such as regimes, networks and partnerships. Students will learn that there are large differences between the different multi-level and multi-actor governance arenas in terms of stakeholder involvement and relevant trade-offs. Furthermore, students will learn that a good understanding of the relations and interdependencies between public administration, market parties, non-governmental organisations and civilians, but also the scientific community, is essential for governance in pursuit of sustainable development. An important element of this course is the link between theoretical concepts and their practical relevance, illustrated by case-studies.
After studying the course the students should be able:
- to define and explain the concept of governance (in theory and practice)
- to explain the interlinkages between governance and sustainable development
- to apply their knowledge about governance on real-world sustainability problems
- to analyse sustainable development challenges from a governance perspective
- to evaluate critically the idea of governance for sustainable development.