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Reguation and Governance Papers

We have completed a series of papers and theses concerning regulation and governance. Below are links to the full text of these papers, which cross the boundaries of multiple projects.

Flexibility with Accountability: An Experiment in Environmental Governance - Matthew Amengual

Toward a More Deliberative Port Planning: The “Vision and Daring” of Environmental NGOs in Negotiations on the Second Maasvlakte, Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands - Sarah D. Kelly

Production and Organizational Learning: Towards a New Orientation for Environmental Policy -
Steven M. Lanou

Casting Environmental Governance: The Evolution of Regulatory Relationships in the Wisconsin foundry industry - Emily C. Rubenstein


Public Entrepreneurship Networks

Growing realization of the magnitude of change that sustainability
requires of modern society and of the inadequacy of present-day command-and-control regulatory mechanisms makes clear the need for a new approach to environmental management and innovation. Public entrepreneurship responds to this need. It acknowledges shifts in institutional resources among private sector and citizens groups that have moved the locus of initiative and change outside the state. Policy development increasingly occurs in an intermediate arena that is neither governmental nor private but is encompassed by networks of public entrepreneurs from both public and private organizations. These networks can drive innovation by creating an environment of trust and competence that turn the need to ascertain what is known into the initiative to realize what is possible. It is this initiative that produces new environmentally friendly technologies and effectively delpoys existing technologies.

The Public Entrepreneruship Network (PEN) framework was developed through collaboration between scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Tokyo, and officials at the Strategic Planning Division of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spacial Planning and the Environment. The framework is currently being used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for designing new regulatory arrangements to promote innovation. Our work seeks to characterize these networks through case studies to help stimulate their formation and success. These cases include accounts of innovation and growth in public transportation, carsharing, and solar power.
Click here to read more about Public Entrepreneurship Network research.


The Wisconsin Partnership


ETP is closely involved with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on developing innovative strategies for a wide range of environmental issues including regulatory compliance, corporate environmental stewardship, urban infill development, building strong regional transit bases, and sustainable agriculture. We are building on the relationship formed through the collaboration on PEN research to create a program of comparative research on practice through partnerships with The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Erasmus University in the Netherlands that creates ties with the Dutch institutions National Institute for Sustainable Development (NIDO) and the National Expertise Bureau for Innovative Policy Making (XPIN). Framing and analyzing the research in collaboration with these partners will ensure that the results connect with the experience of practitioners.
Click here to read more about the Wisconsin Partnership Projects


Transforming the Rotterdamse Ruit


The Randstad (the collection of Dutch"Ring Cities" that include Amsterdam,Rotterdam, and the Hague) is one of the most fertile grounds in the world for research into land use planning and sustainable development. The Ranstad has the combination of knowledge infrastructure, cultural resources, and environmental quality necessary to thrive in changing economic conditions. Yet the infrastructure that should tie these resources together and enhance their value increasingly threatens to overshadow the underlying strengths of the region. The Rotterdamse Ruit provides a tangible example of this spiral of decline as it incrementally turns from a majory artery of the urban economy into a divisive barrier. The congestion, fragmentation, and sprawl that the Ruit currently disrupts ties among cities, the port, and the countryside and contributes to ethnic tensions and social conflict. The combined effect is a gradual disuption of the professional, technical, and social networks that drive economic vitality and the Ruit's image as an attractive home for new firms.

This research looks to contribute to reversing these trends by organizing a societal process of communication, reflection, analysis and design that will generate a long term perspective and a program practical steps that are both supported by government, the business community, and civil society. Our focus is the Rotterdamse Ruit, building on the 1999 Rotterdam Mobility Conference which identified identified the 'Rotterdamse Ruit' as a priority. This work involves the collaboration of scholars from the the Technical University Delft, Erasmus University, and the Dutch Laboratory for Applied Science, the Netherlands Institute of Housing and Planning, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


The Origins of the European Food Safety Authority


This project focuses on institutional development and the social management of uncertainty in policy decision making, using the specific case of the genesis and development of the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) to demonstrate its findings. The FSA was borne of the highly public food scandals of the late 1990s (salmonella in eggs, Belgian chickens, mad cow disease, GMOs in food, hoof-and-mouth disease). An exceptionally wide array of groups weigh in on these types of issues leading to a new form of public discourse on policy areas that have formerly been managed primarily by scientific experts from within government agencies.

However, according to Dutch officials in the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, "these days a not-interactive policy process is no longer a viable option. Society can and will go ahead and organize an interactive debate by itself. If public authorities do not choose to play a leading role... chances are they‘ll end up with a role they do not want.” The professionals and public officials who work on environmental protection are struggling to figure out how to respond to new sustained critiques of practice. They find themselves needing to interact with groups that are organized in new ways and that raise problems (e.g. urban environmental health, ecosystem health, environmental justice) that do not comport with established categories of practice.

These trends converge to produce awareness of the limits of knowledge and the uncertainties that set the context for action, or in plainer terms, an “awareness of our unawareness.” The combination of radical uncertainty, moral complexity, and social explosiveness creates the tensions and pressures that are reshaping the context of administrative action. It contributes to a deeply felt unease among citizens about the possibilities of effective and responsible state power that has practical implications for public institutions. It is forcing policy makers rethink the way in which uncertainties are dealt with socially and institutionally. The FSA is a bureaucratic response to these developments from which many lessons can be learned that are relevant to all public decision making involving risk and uncertainty.