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Governance of sustainable development: co-evolution of corporate and political strategies


  • Raimund Bleischwitz


This article proposes a policy framework for analysing corporate governance toward sustainable development. The aim is to set up a framework for analysing market evolution toward sustainability. In the first section, the paper briefly refers to recent theories about both market and government failures that express scepticism about the way that framework conditions for market actors are set. For this reason, multi-layered governance structures seem advantageous if new solutions are to be developed in policy areas concerned with long-term change and stepwise internalisation of externalities. The paper introduces the principle of regulated self-regulation. With regard to corporate actors' interests, it presents recent insights from theories about the knowledge-based firm, where the creation of new knowledge is based on the absorption of societal views. The result is greater scope for the endogenous internalisation of externalities, which leads to a variety of new and different corporate strategies. Because governance has to set incentives for quite a diverse set of actors in their daily operations, the paper finally discusses innovation-inducing regulation. In both areas, regulated self-regulation and innovation-inducing regulation, corporate and political governance co-evolve. The paper concludes that these co-evolutionary mechanisms may assume some of the stabilising and orientating functions previously exercised by framing activities of the state. In such a view, the government's main function is to facilitate learning processes, thus departing from the state's function as known from welfare economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Raimund Bleischwitz, 2004. "Governance of sustainable development: co-evolution of corporate and political strategies," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 27-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijsusd:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:27-43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krupnick, Alan & Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Simon, Nathalie & O'Brien, Bernie & Goeree, Ron & Heintzelman, Martin, 2002. "Age, Health and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 161-186, March.
    2. Klinge Jacobsen, Henrik, 1998. "Integrating the bottom-up and top-down approach to energy-economy modelling: the case of Denmark," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 443-461, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Natasha Donevska, 2017. "Trade-offs in sustainable urban development: the case of Skopje," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(1), pages 152-159, March.
    2. Kemp, R. & van den Bergh, J., 2006. "Economics and Transitions: Lessons from Economic Sub-disciplines," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).


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