Radical institutional change in environmental governance: Explaining the origins of the UK Climate Change Act 2008 through discursive and streams perspectives

TitleRadical institutional change in environmental governance: Explaining the origins of the UK Climate Change Act 2008 through discursive and streams perspectives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLorenzoni, I, Benson, D
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume29
Start Page10
Pagination10–21
Date Published11/2014
Type of ArticleJournal Article
KeywordsClimate Change Act, Discursive Institutionalism, Policy window, Radical policy change, Streams Model, UK
Abstract

The processes that lead to radical institutional change in environmental governance have been theorised from various different perspectives. Six years ago an article published in Global Environmental Change argued for a more systematic evaluation of the potential and utility of complementing Kingdon's Streams Model with other policy-making explanatory approaches. Although Brunner's (2008) article highlighted various limitations of the framework, and suggested employing it with other lenses, only one other attempt has been made to date. This paper explores the value of combining Kingdon's model with Discursive Institutionalism which argues that a focus on discourse has significant, although as yet unfulfilled, potential for shedding new light on institutional change through explaining actor preferences, strategies and normative alignment. By evaluating these arguments in one significant recent example of radical institutional innovation, the UK Climate Change Act 2008, this article shows that by examining discursive interventions, in addition to more structural determinants, significant new insight can be generated into the conditions under which change can occur. The results have implications for theorising radical institutional innovation and also engage in wider debates on governing complex sustainability issues such as climate change.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378014001381
DOI10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.07.011
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