Can democracy accelerate sustainability transformations? Policy coherence for participatory co-existence

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Abstract

The 2030 Agenda envisages a world “in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law […] are essential for sustainable development” (Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, 2015, paragraph 9). However, the extent to which democratic practices can help or hinder sustainable development remains contested. I show how the relationship between democracy and environmental sustainability can be illuminated by recent advances in research on policy coherence for sustainable development. I apply a framework developed by Shawoo et al., (2022), to illustrate how (in)coherence between these two objectives is driven by a mix of ideas, institutions and interests. This framework can, in turn, help to identify policy options for strengthening coherence between democratic and environmental aims, spanning pluralisation of integrative frames and discourses, inclusive institutional design and reforms that broaden the range of public interests included in decision-making while restraining undue influence of vested interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023

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