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Accountability and legitimacy in earth system governance: A research framework

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  • Biermann, Frank
  • Gupta, Aarti
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    Abstract

    Along with concerns over the effectiveness of earth system governance, ways of enhancing its accountability and legitimacy are increasingly coming to the fore in both scholarly debate and political practice. Concerns over accountability and legitimacy pertain to all levels of governance, from the local to the global, and cover the spectrum of public and private governance arrangements. This conceptual article elaborates on the sources, mechanisms and reform options relating to more accountable, legitimate and democratic earth system governance. We proceed in four steps. First, we conceptualize accountability and legitimacy in earth system governance. Second, we place questions of accountability and legitimacy within the larger context of earth system transformation, which, we argue, poses special challenges to the pursuit of accountability and legitimacy. Third, drawing on the contributions to this special section, we analyze different sources and mechanisms of accountability and legitimacy and their effects on the democratic potential and effectiveness of governance. Fourth, in concluding, we outline reform options that may help alleviate persisting deficits in the democratic potential of earth system governance.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911001613
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 11 (September)
    Pages: 1856-1864

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:1856-1864

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Accountability Legitimacy Earth system governance Environmental reform Global environmental governance;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Dryzek, John S. & Stevenson, Hayley, 2011. "Global democracy and earth system governance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1865-1874, September.
    2. Dellas, Eleni, 2011. "CSD water partnerships: Privatization, participation and legitimacy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1916-1923, September.
    3. Lederer, Markus, 2011. "From CDM to REDD+ -- What do we know for setting up effective and legitimate carbon governance?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1900-1907, September.
    4. Aarti Gupta, 2010. "Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: A Coming of Age?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 1-9, August.
    5. Frank Biermann & Michele Betsill & Joyeeta Gupta & Norichika Kanie & Louis Lebel & Diana Liverman & Heike Schroeder & Bernd Siebenhüner & Ruben Zondervan, 2010. "Earth system governance: a research framework," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 277-298, December.
    6. Schouten, Greetje & Glasbergen, Pieter, 2011. "Creating legitimacy in global private governance: The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1891-1899, September.
    7. Aarti Gupta, 2008. "Transparency Under Scrutiny: Information Disclosure in Global Environmental Governance," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(2), pages 1-7, 05.
    8. Spagnuolo, Francesca, 2011. "Diversity and pluralism in earth system governance: Contemplating the role for global administrative law," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1875-1881, September.
    9. Aarti Gupta, 2010. "Transparency as Contested Political Terrain: Who Knows What about the Global GMO Trade and Why does it Matter?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 32-52, August.
    10. Sander Chan & Philipp Pattberg, 2008. "Private Rule-Making and the Politics of Accountability: Analyzing Global Forest Governance," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 103-121, 08.
    11. Michael Mason, 2008. "The Governance of Transnational Environmental Harm: Addressing New Modes of Accountability/Responsibility," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 8-24, 08.
    12. Rosendal, G. Kristin & Andresen, Steinar, 2011. "Institutional design for improved forest governance through REDD: Lessons from the global environment facility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1908-1915, September.
    13. Aarti Gupta, 2010. "Transparency to what end? Governing by disclosure through the biosafety clearing house," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(1), pages 128-144, February.
    14. Mitchell, Ronald B., 2011. "Transparency for governance: The mechanisms and effectiveness of disclosure-based and education-based transparency policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1882-1890, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Schouten, Greetje & Glasbergen, Pieter, 2011. "Creating legitimacy in global private governance: The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1891-1899, September.
    2. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Wolff, Hendrik, 2014. "Payment for Ecosystem Services from Forests," IZA Discussion Papers 8179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Farrell, Katharine N., 2014. "Intellectual mercantilism and franchise equity: A critical study of the ecological political economy of international payments for ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 137-146.
    4. Dryzek, John S. & Stevenson, Hayley, 2011. "Global democracy and earth system governance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1865-1874, September.
    5. Gaël Plumecocq, 2013. "The Institutionalisation of Multi-level Changes: Sustainable Development, Values and Territory," Post-Print hal-00994871, HAL.
    6. Rosendal, G. Kristin & Andresen, Steinar, 2011. "Institutional design for improved forest governance through REDD: Lessons from the global environment facility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1908-1915, September.
    7. Mitchell, Ronald B., 2011. "Transparency for governance: The mechanisms and effectiveness of disclosure-based and education-based transparency policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1882-1890, September.
    8. Bardsley, Douglas K. & Bardsley, Annette M., 2014. "Organising for socio-ecological resilience: The roles of the mountain farmer cooperative Genossenschaft Gran Alpin in Graubünden, Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 11-21.
    9. Schouten, Greetje & Glasbergen, Pieter, 2012. "Private Multi-stakeholder Governance in the Agricultural Market Place: An Analysis of Legitimization Processes of the Roundtables on Sustainable Palm Oil and Responsible Soy," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(B).
    10. Dellas, Eleni, 2011. "CSD water partnerships: Privatization, participation and legitimacy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1916-1923, September.
    11. Tobias Böhmelt, 2013. "A closer look at the information provision rationale: Civil society participation in states’ delegations at the UNFCCC," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 55-80, March.
    12. Spagnuolo, Francesca, 2011. "Diversity and pluralism in earth system governance: Contemplating the role for global administrative law," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1875-1881, September.

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