Advanced

What role for network governance in urban low carbon transitions?

Khan, Jamil LU (2013) In Journal of Cleaner Production 50. p.133-139
Abstract
Many cities around the world have taken a pioneering role in tackling climate change and they will be key players in a possible transition to a future low carbon society. However, cities are at the same time constrained and act in a world of multi-level governance where local decision makers are dependent on both higher political levels and other actors in society. In this situation network governance has emerged as a promising 'new mode of governance' where cities can increase both the legitimacy and implementation capacity of an ambitious climate agenda. In network governance the municipality is a facilitator rather than commander and implementer. However, there are also some important potential problems with network governance relating... (More)
Many cities around the world have taken a pioneering role in tackling climate change and they will be key players in a possible transition to a future low carbon society. However, cities are at the same time constrained and act in a world of multi-level governance where local decision makers are dependent on both higher political levels and other actors in society. In this situation network governance has emerged as a promising 'new mode of governance' where cities can increase both the legitimacy and implementation capacity of an ambitious climate agenda. In network governance the municipality is a facilitator rather than commander and implementer. However, there are also some important potential problems with network governance relating to its democratic legitimacy (politics increasingly carried out by closed elites) and its capacity to lead to radical change (networks of established interests tend to preserve status quo). The aim of this paper is to critically analyse the role of network governance in urban low carbon transitions. The paper builds on original empirical research from the Swedish context which is supplemented by experience found in the literature from other cases. The paper draws from, and merges, two different theoretical perspectives on governance: network governance and transition governance. The literature on network governance asks whether this mode of governance is legitimate and effective, while the literature on transition governance explores what governance configurations are needed in order to steer towards a (low carbon) transition. The findings of the paper show that the effects of network governance are mixed both regarding its policy outputs and its democratic legitimacy. On the implications of network governance for urban low carbon transitions it is argued that while network governance can contribute to niche developments and innovation at the urban level, the elitist character of networks risks maintaining existing unsustainable patterns and defining possible urban futures in too narrow terms. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Network governance, Low carbon transition, Urban governance, Sustainable, urban transformations
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
50
pages
133 - 139
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000320490600013
  • scopus:84879991020
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.045
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3963f4e7-19fb-47f6-a557-ec21aefc1c2b (old id 3979693)
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 16:03:28
date last changed
2018-11-11 03:51:58
@article{3963f4e7-19fb-47f6-a557-ec21aefc1c2b,
  abstract     = {Many cities around the world have taken a pioneering role in tackling climate change and they will be key players in a possible transition to a future low carbon society. However, cities are at the same time constrained and act in a world of multi-level governance where local decision makers are dependent on both higher political levels and other actors in society. In this situation network governance has emerged as a promising 'new mode of governance' where cities can increase both the legitimacy and implementation capacity of an ambitious climate agenda. In network governance the municipality is a facilitator rather than commander and implementer. However, there are also some important potential problems with network governance relating to its democratic legitimacy (politics increasingly carried out by closed elites) and its capacity to lead to radical change (networks of established interests tend to preserve status quo). The aim of this paper is to critically analyse the role of network governance in urban low carbon transitions. The paper builds on original empirical research from the Swedish context which is supplemented by experience found in the literature from other cases. The paper draws from, and merges, two different theoretical perspectives on governance: network governance and transition governance. The literature on network governance asks whether this mode of governance is legitimate and effective, while the literature on transition governance explores what governance configurations are needed in order to steer towards a (low carbon) transition. The findings of the paper show that the effects of network governance are mixed both regarding its policy outputs and its democratic legitimacy. On the implications of network governance for urban low carbon transitions it is argued that while network governance can contribute to niche developments and innovation at the urban level, the elitist character of networks risks maintaining existing unsustainable patterns and defining possible urban futures in too narrow terms. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Khan, Jamil},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Network governance,Low carbon transition,Urban governance,Sustainable,urban transformations},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {133--139},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {What role for network governance in urban low carbon transitions?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.045},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2013},
}