Unpicking Environmental Policy Integration: Tales from waste management

Open access version here

In this article we set out three critical arguments in relation to debates on Environmental Policy Integration and governance. I authored it with Harriet Bulkeley and Ray Hudson and published in the journal Environment and Planning and C: Government and Policy  in 2008.

open access | published version | cited by…|Watson M, H Bulkeley and R Hudson (2008) ‘Unpicking Environmental Policy Integration: Tales from waste management’ Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 26 (3): 481-498

ABSTRACT Through an exploration of UK municipal waste policy, this paper examines debates on Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) and governance. We argue that this policy arena has been characterised by modes of vertical integration which have failed to promote the horizontal integration required to move beyond the limits of anachronistic institutional structures and achieve the paradigm shift needed to make meaningful progress towards sustainability. Through this analysis we develop three critical arguments. First, that analysis of EPI requires attention to embedded paradigms, structures and dynamics at all levels of governing, emphasising the importance of incorporating sub-national levels of governing to EPI analyses. Second that both analysis of and arguments for EPI need to engage more fully with broader dynamics of governing, and recognise the co-existence of contradictory processes of integration. Finally, we sound a note of caution in relation to calls for EPI. In the messy, dynamic and multilevelled reality in which EPI has to be implemented, such calls must recognise both sustainability and policy integration as iterative processes rather than as pre-determined blueprints.

Author: Matt Watson

A Human Geographer at the University of Sheffield, interested in how everyday human action and social orders make each other, with implications for sustainability and wellbeing.

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