Civil Society in Global Environmental Governance
The Journal of Environment & Development, Vol. 21/1: 62–66, 2012
Posted: 5 Dec 2017 Last revised: 12 Dec 2017
Date Written: February 23, 2012
Non-governmental organizations play an increasingly important role in the formation and implementation of environmental policies and institutions. The growing involvement of non-state actors in environmental governance is generally welcomed for two reasons: civil society presumably helps governments reach more effective and democratic agreements by providing information and legitimacy. Yet, there are reasons to doubt civil society’s capacity to fulfill these two functions. Many non-governmental organizations themselves lack democratic legitimacy; and weak international agreements are often the result not of lack of information, but of lack of political will. While non-state actors clearly have an important role to play in global environmental governance, this article calls for more research to identify when and how non-state actors indeed contribute to more effective and democratically more legitimate governance.
Keywords: Civil Society, Climate, Environment, Global Environmental Governance, Governance
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