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Title: The contribution of strategic environmental assessment to good governance
Author: Scott, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 0719
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been associated with 'good governance' by bodies at national and international levels including the World Bank, OECD and UK and Scottish Government. Invoking concepts including transparency, accountability, public participation and partnership working, this SEA/good governace nexus has been promoted in Scotland where the government sees SEA as central to its sustainable development aspirations. The research examines the operation of the SEA/good governance nexus in the SEA processes of two Scottish cases: the A96 corridor Masterplan and the Clackmannanshire Alliance Community Planning environment framework, Greening Clackmannanshire. Data-gathering took place between 2007 and 2010 using a mix of qualitative methods. The data were then analysed using a realist governmentality lens to view SEA as a technique of government ostensibly seeking to instil environmentally-focused governance. Employing a framework drawn from Foucault and summ arised by Darier (1996), the analysis is focused around three axes. The first axis, which considers centralisation tendencies in government, is crucial in considering whether SEA can be a useful meeting point between top-down and bottom-up approaches to sustainable development. The second, 'intensification of the effects of power', requires clear conduits for the flow of an environmentally-focused governmentality if Thérivel's (2004) aspiration of having decision makers 'thinking SEA' is to be realised. Finally, the power-knowledge axis opens up for discussion the role of expertise vis-à-vis the admittance to SEA of 'early and effective' public participation and an increasing emphasis on social learning in assessment. Crucially, a governmentality approach also admits a central theme in Foucault's conception of power: resistance. In contrast to providing opportunity to futher the legitimising aims of the SEA/good governance nexus in Scot exposes instances of resistance to both thedemocratising elements of good governance and to SEA itself, as the public and statutory consultation authorites find their efforts to constructively engage with the SEA process thwarted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available