Public interest or private agenda? A meditation on the role of NGOs in environmental policy and management in Australia

Lane, Marcus B., and Morrison, T.H. (2006) Public interest or private agenda? A meditation on the role of NGOs in environmental policy and management in Australia. Journal of Rural Studies, 22 (2). pp. 232-242.

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Abstract

Non-government organisations (NGOs) have come to assume an important role in environmental policy in Australia. This paper considers the institutional impacts of an enlarged and formal role for NGOs in environmental governance. To foreground the analysis that follows, the paper theorises: (i) the structural democratisation of western societies which provides the preconditions for civic approaches to environmental governance; (ii) civil society organisations as political actors; and (iii) the link between non-state associations and democracy. Against this background, the paper surveys some of the ways in which NGOs are being formally involved in environmental policy and management in Australia. The paper proceeds to identify a series of risks associated with these approaches. The paper concludes by calling for a more nuanced and critical appraisal of the role of NGOs in environmental policy so political space might be reserved for the public interest and to ensure that the democratic effects of civil society are not diminished.

Item ID: 39965
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: NGOs; non-state associations; environmental policy; governance; civil society; structural democratisation; democracy
ISSN: 1873-1392
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 01:10
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy @ 35%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160605 Environmental Politics @ 35%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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