Political modernisation and the weakening of sustainable development in Britain

BATCHELOR, A. and PATTERSON, A. (2007). Political modernisation and the weakening of sustainable development in Britain. In: KRUEGER, R. and GIBBS, D., (eds.) The sustainable development pradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe. New York, Guilford Press, 192-213.

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Abstract

Article 28 of Agenda 21 placed elected local authorities at the heart of achieving sustainable development. This required a new balance of environmental, social and economic policies co-ordinated by revitalised democratic local government.

However, the context within which this would have to be delivered in the UK was the extensive and ongoing restructuring of sub-national government (i.e. both local and regional government) – a restructuring which has continued apace since then, not least with devolution in Scotland and Wales; the extension of unelected regional government in England; and centrally imposed changes to the local government committee system. In addition a further raft of so-called ‘modernisation’ polices have been implemented with broader social concerns such as ‘well-being’ and ‘community strategies’ within which the core environmental concerns of sustainable development are sidelined - viewed as generally desirable, but, ultimately, as ancillary and not essential.

This chapter assesses the cumulative impact of these changes in the nature of sub-national government in Britain on the form and effectiveness of policies for sustainable development.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: The final version of this book chapter appears in The sustainable development pradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe edited by R. Krueger and D. Gibbs © Guilford Press: http://www.guilford.com.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Urban and Regional Studies
Depositing User: Caroline Fixter
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 09:41
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 16:16
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1312

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