This research review includes the definitive contributions to the institutional foundations of environmental issues. It covers the foundations of welfare economics, externalities, market failure, and the central nexus of law and economics. Each article illustrates the fundamental importance of institutions – the legal scaffolding of an economy – to environmental problems. This understanding of the institutions of an economy then leads into extensive coverage of how to diagnose environmental problems and then to formulate policy solutions to deforestation, degraded fisheries and pastoral regimes, pollution, land-use conflicts, contested property rights, the tragedy of open-access natural resources and general development problems in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Robin Connor and Stephen Dovers
Institutional Change for Sustainable Development presents a flexible, accessible, yet robust conceptual framework for comprehending institutional dimensions of sustainability, emphasising the complexity of institutional systems, and highlighting the interdependence between policy learning and institutional change. This framework is applied and developed through the analysis of five significant arenas of institutional and policy change: environmental policy in the EU; New Zealand’s landmark Resource Management Act; strategic environmental assessment; emerging National Councils for Sustainable Development; and transformative property rights instruments. From these explorations, key principles for institutional change are identified, including the institutional accommodation of a sustainability discourse, the interdependence of normative and institutional change; reiteration and learning; integration in policy and practice; subsidiarity; and legal change.