IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Partnerships for sustainable development as discursive practice: Shifts in discourses of environment and democracy


  • Mert, Aysem


Partnerships for sustainable development are the Type II outcomes that emerged out of the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, 2002. These new mechanisms of environmental governance were an intersection point of three significant discourses in global politics: those of participatory democracy, private governance, and sustainable development. By analysing these three discourses around partnerships for sustainable development, this paper aims at revealing the larger frames of reference and the meta-narratives that explain why and how institutions like partnerships for sustainable development have emerged and how they have actualised. Using key concepts from and discourse theoretical approaches of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, the paper focuses on the negotiations of formal international organisations as a practice of discourse institutionalisation. By recognising that the international negotiations can result in these institutions to carry contestations and conflicts, it traces the dilemmas inherent in partnerships, that reflect shifts in the discourses of environment and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Mert, Aysem, 2009. "Partnerships for sustainable development as discursive practice: Shifts in discourses of environment and democracy," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 109-122, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:11:y:2009:i:2:p:109-122

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mohammed Asaduzzaman & Jari Kaivo-oja & Jari Stenvall & Sari Jusi, 2016. "Strengthening Local Governance in Developing Countries: Partnership as an Alternative Approach," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 335-356, September.
    2. Emmanuelle Cheyns, 2014. "Making “minority voices” heard in transnational roundtables: the role of local NGOs in reintroducing justice and attachments," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 31(3), pages 439-453, September.
    3. repec:eee:ecoser:v:8:y:2014:i:c:p:178-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Yang, Shanlin & Bai, Yu & Wang, Sufeng & Feng, Nanping, 2013. "Evaluating the transformation of China’s industrial development mode during 2000–2009," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 585-594.
    5. van Heeswijk, Laura & Turnhout, Esther, 2013. "The discursive structure of FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade): The negotiation and interpretation of legality in the EU and Indonesia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 6-13.
    6. Aysem Mert, 2012. "Partnerships and the Privatisation of Environmental Governance: On Myths, Forces of Nature and Other Inevitabilities," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 475-498, November.
    7. Blicharska, Malgorzata & Van Herzele, Ann, 2015. "What a forest? Whose forest? Struggles over concepts and meanings in the debate about the conservation of the Białowieża Forest in Poland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 22-30.
    8. Vijge, Marjanneke J., 2015. "Competing discourses on REDD+: Global debates versus the first Indian REDD+ project," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 38-47.
    9. Sadath, Nazmus & Kleinschmit, Daniela & Giessen, Lukas, 2013. "Framing the tiger — A biodiversity concern in national and international media reporting," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 37-41.
    10. Krott, Max & Giessen, Lukas, 2014. "Learning from practices — implications of the “practice based approach” for forest and environmental policy research," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 12-16.
    11. Philipp Pattberg & Ayşem Mert, 2013. "The Future We Get Might Not Be the Future We Want: Analyzing the Rio+20 Outcomes," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4(3), pages 305-310, September.
    12. Leipold, Sina, 2014. "Creating forests with words — A review of forest-related discourse studies," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 12-20.
    13. Ayşem Mert, 2014. "Hybrid governance mechanisms as political instruments: the case of sustainability partnerships," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 225-244, September.
    14. Nina Hissen, 2014. "Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg (eds): Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 199-202, May.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:11:y:2009:i:2:p:109-122. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.