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Institutionalizing Sustainability across the Federal Government

Author

Listed:
  • Kenneth W. Abbott

    () (Center for Law, Science and Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 877906, Tempe, AZ 85287-7906, USA
    School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 877906, Tempe, AZ 85287-7906, USA)

  • Gary E. Marchant

    () (Center for Law, Science and Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 877906, Tempe, AZ 85287-7906, USA)

Abstract

A notable aspect of sustainability is its holistic and cross-cutting nature—it cannot be achieved by any single rule, statute or agency. Instead, sustainability must be institutionalized across the legal system and government as a whole. In this paper, we propose and examine five mechanisms for institutionalizing sustainability across the federal legal system: (1) an Executive Order on sustainability; (2) a sustainability impact assessment process; (3) a non-partisan Congressional Joint Committee on Sustainability; (4) a federal Sustainability Commission; and (5) a Sustainability Law Reform Commission. Each is modeled on an existing institution in the United States or another jurisdiction. We discuss and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each mechanism, and discuss how the mechanisms might best be used, singly or in combination, to institutionalize sustainability across the federal government.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth W. Abbott & Gary E. Marchant, 2010. "Institutionalizing Sustainability across the Federal Government," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(7), pages 1-19, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:7:p:1924-1942:d:8853
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tanya Howard, 2015. "From international principles to local practices: a socio-legal framing of public participation research," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 747-763, August.
    2. John C. Dernbach & Joel A. Mintz, 2011. "Environmental Laws and Sustainability: An Introduction," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-10, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability; sustainable development; institutional analysis; executive order; environmental impact assessment; government commissions; law reform; governance;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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