Environmental Governance Reconsidered

From American and Comparative Environmental Policy

Environmental Governance Reconsidered

Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities

Edited by Robert F. Durant, Daniel J. Fiorino and Rosemary O'Leary





This survey of current issues and controversies in environmental policy and management is unique in its thematic mix, broad coverage of key debates and approaches, and in-depth analysis of concepts treated less thoroughly in other texts. The contributing authors, all distinguished scholars or practitioners, offer a comprehensive examination of key topics in environmental governance today, including perspectives from environmental economics, democratic theory, public policy, law, political science, and public administration. Environmental Governance Reconsidered is the first book to integrate these wide-ranging topics and perspectives thematically in one volume.

Many are calling for a change in the bureaucratic, adversarial, technology-based regulatory approach that is the basis for much environmental policy—a move from "rule-based" to "results-based" regulation. Each of the thirteen chapters in Environmental Governance Reconsidered critically examines one aspect of this "second generation" of environmental reform, assesses its promise-versus-performance to date, and points out future challenges and opportunities. The first section of the book, "Reconceptualizing Purpose," discusses the concepts of sustainability, global interdependence, the precautionary principle, and common pool resource theory. The second section, "Reconnecting with Stakeholders," examines deliberative democracy, civic environmentalism, environmental justice, property rights and regulatory takings, and environmental conflict resolution. The final section, "Redefining Administrative Rationality," analyzes devolution, regulatory flexibility, pollution prevention, and third-party environmental management systems auditing. This book will benefit students, scholars, managers, natural resource specialists, policymakers, and reformers and is ideal for class adoption.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262042185 536 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 illus.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262541749 536 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 illus.


Robert F. Durant

Robert F. Durant is Professor Emeritus in the School of Public Affairs, American University.

Daniel J. Fiorino

Daniel J. Fiorino is Director of the Center for Environmental Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Rosemary O'Leary

Rosemary O'Leary is Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Kansas.


  • Durant, Fiorino, and O'Leary have done us all a great service by bringing this excellent set of essays together in one volume. Those interested in making substantial reforms of environmental policy need to take this book seriously. It provides the basis for more effective ways of working with stakeholders, ensuring equity and conflict resolution, and devising governance solutions at multiple levels.

    Elinor Ostrom

    Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Government, Indiana University, and Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and the Center for the Study of Population, Institutions, and Environmental Change

  • An excellent, welcome addition to the environmental policy and administration literature. This book is well conceived, edited, and written. It pulls together an impressive collection of essays from most of the leading scholars writing on environmental policy today. It articulates, all in one place, a progressive, informed and intellectual environment governance reform agenda. I especially appreciated the book's breadth in discussing governance problem (and reform opportunities) in the US today. It's really all there—participatory reforms, administrative chances, policy tool reforms, and institutional constraints.

    Daniel Press

    Professor, Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • The extraordinary scope of this collection is matched by the depth and outstanding quality of almost all the contributions. Anyone—whether scholar, student, or interested member of the public—who wants to know about the cutting edge of environmental policy should read this book.

    Terry Davies

    Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future, and former Assistant Administrator for Policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • This is a terrific book. It is unique in its breadth of coverage and its timeliness. I see it being adopted for any advanced undergraduate or graduate-level course on environmental policy or environmental politics. It seems to me far better than any other single work on the market today, and it is a breath of fresh air to see virtually all of the major political issues and arguments presented so competently in a single volume.

    Kent Portney

    Professor, Department of Political Science, Tufts University

  • Environmental Governance Reconsidered summarizes the best current thinking on environmental policy and management. The book seems to me to do exactly what an excellent edited collection should do. It is also an excellent text for a course on environmental policy and management. The conceptualization of the field as represented by the topics and their treatment is a major contribution to environmental policy studies.

    Steven Cohen

    School of International and Public Affairs and Earth Institute, Columbia University