SUSTAINABILITY cannot be achieved without good governance. The Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 stated that governance and sustainable development are intimately tied together and the future role and architecture of institutions, from local to international levels, will be crucial determinants to whether future policies and programmes for sustainable development will succeed.
But these are changing times. With growing tensions over both globalisation and regionalisation, traditional systems of regulation are being subjected to growing pressure for reform. While states will continue to play a significant, if changed, role in the future, the importance of players from business and civil society is increasing. Sustainable development requires this change. Such an intra- and intergenerational concept cannot be achieved with a top-down approach, but rather needs the participation of all. In fact, the governance of sustainable development requires the exploration of new forms of both social co-operation and confrontation. By doing so, the different levels (global and local), players (state, company and civil society), control structures (hierarchy, market and public–private) and fields of action need to be taken into consideration.
‘Governance and Sustainability' examines the possibilities of integrating the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development within the framework of governance processes and how that might steer societies towards sustainability. It takes a close look at the key actors, their agendas and methods, forms of organisation, problems and limits, as well as real-life examples for governance in different areas of society at the regional, national and international level. It is especially interested in exploring the nature of changes in the context of governance; the role of actors in such processes; and analysing how different forms of societal learning can improve governance processes. It concludes that this is a continuous process, characterised by conflicts and learning processes necessary to heighten both awareness of the complexity of the social and environmental problems faced and the prospects of implementing successful solutions.
Based on a major conference hosted to assess the issue of governance post-Johannesburg, the book includes innovative insights from some of the leading thinkers in both sustainable development and governance from academia, business, multilateral organisations and NGOs. It provides a unique perspective on two of the key societal problems facing the world today.