Article

Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: A Coming of Age?

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Abstract

This introductory article draws on the contributions to this special issue to consider the implications of a transparency turn in global environmental and sustainability governance. Three interrelated aspects are addressed: why transparency now? How is transparency being institutionalized? And what effects does it have? In analyzing the spread of transparency in governance, the article highlights the broader (contested) normative context that shapes both its embrace by various actors and its institutionalization. I argue that the effects of transparency-whether it informs, empowers or improves environmental performance-remain uneven, with transparency falling short of meeting the ends many anticipate from it. Nonetheless, as the contributions to this issue make clear, transparency has indeed come of age as a defining feature of our current and future politics. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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... Por outro lado, uma das caraterísticas das sociedades modernas é o desenvolvimento de sistemas de peritagem -"expert systems" (Giddens, 1991), que influenciam muitos aspetos da nossa vida quotidiana. Na aceção de Giddens, estes sistemas de peritagem constituem mecanismos de dissociação -'disembbeded mechanisms' -uma vez que removem as relações sociais do seu contexto imediato, proporcionando uma garantia de expectativas ao longo do tempo e do espaço. ...
... Outros autores da área da governança ambiental e dos estudos críticos da transparência têm apontado problemas relacionados com a operacionalização da transparência, nomeadamente: o foco nos procedimentos de divulgação (em vez dos resultados); o seu caráter voluntário (em vez de compulsivo -sendo que o número de categorias para as quais a divulgação é obrigatória é limitado) e as relações desiguais de poder nas redes e cadeias de valor -manifestas por exemplo, no facto de nem todas as categorias estarem igualmente sujeitas à norma da transparência, nem a todas se poderem aplicar totalmente os critérios de transparência (Fung et al., 2007;Gupta, 2010;Mol, 2010). Tem -se assim privilegiado um tipo de "transparência de primeira ordem", relacionada com o acesso e qualidade da informação -em que o foco é na informação, em vez de uma "transparência de segunda ordem", que estaria relacionada com os interesses, legitimidade, responsabilização e efeitos secundários da divulgação -em que o foco seria nas instituições (Mol, 2015). ...
... Sugerimos pensar criticamente as iniciativas de transparência 'digital' e 'ecológica' por parte das organizações pública e privadas a partir das questões sugeridas por Jasanoff (2003) para o desenvolvimento destas 'tecnologias de humildade', nomeadamente: "qual o propósito das mesmas" (framing); "quem sai prejudicado" (vulnerability); "quem beneficia" (distribution) e "como podemos saber" (learning). Nos estudos críticos da transparência, algumas destas questões foram já avançadas por Gupta (2010), que põe a tónica no propósito e nos atores da transparência. ...
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Chapter
O artigo faz uma discussão sobre a economia de plataforma, apresentando conceituações, expondo modelos a partir de uma revisão de literatura e abordando o surgimento de um fenômeno que denominamos monopólios digitais.
... Por outro lado, uma das caraterísticas das sociedades modernas é o desenvolvimento de sistemas de peritagem -"expert systems" (Giddens, 1991), que influenciam muitos aspetos da nossa vida quotidiana. Na aceção de Giddens, estes sistemas de peritagem constituem mecanismos de dissociação -'disembbeded mechanisms' -uma vez que removem as relações sociais do seu contexto imediato, proporcionando uma garantia de expectativas ao longo do tempo e do espaço. ...
... Outros autores da área da governança ambiental e dos estudos críticos da transparência têm apontado problemas relacionados com a operacionalização da transparência, nomeadamente: o foco nos procedimentos de divulgação (em vez dos resultados); o seu caráter voluntário (em vez de compulsivo -sendo que o número de categorias para as quais a divulgação é obrigatória é limitado) e as relações desiguais de poder nas redes e cadeias de valor -manifestas por exemplo, no facto de nem todas as categorias estarem igualmente sujeitas à norma da transparência, nem a todas se poderem aplicar totalmente os critérios de transparência (Fung et al., 2007;Gupta, 2010;Mol, 2010). Tem -se assim privilegiado um tipo de "transparência de primeira ordem", relacionada com o acesso e qualidade da informação -em que o foco é na informação, em vez de uma "transparência de segunda ordem", que estaria relacionada com os interesses, legitimidade, responsabilização e efeitos secundários da divulgação -em que o foco seria nas instituições (Mol, 2015). ...
... Sugerimos pensar criticamente as iniciativas de transparência 'digital' e 'ecológica' por parte das organizações pública e privadas a partir das questões sugeridas por Jasanoff (2003) para o desenvolvimento destas 'tecnologias de humildade', nomeadamente: "qual o propósito das mesmas" (framing); "quem sai prejudicado" (vulnerability); "quem beneficia" (distribution) e "como podemos saber" (learning). Nos estudos críticos da transparência, algumas destas questões foram já avançadas por Gupta (2010), que põe a tónica no propósito e nos atores da transparência. ...
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Chapter
Este artigo é parte da pesquisa de doutoramento sobre o impacto da convergência entre os setores de telecomunicações, informática e audiovisual no mercado de comunicações brasileiro. Ele destaca a atividade econômica da empresa de telecomunicações América Móvil, principal operadora de celular na América Latina, a fim de questionar quais novos produtos e serviços têm sido desenvolvidos com base em mudanças tecnológicas e qual a importância deles para a economia.
... The notion of transparency has been one of the most influential themes in emerging global environmental governance in the last few decades [1,2]. Its growing importance as an analytical lens, normative standard, and policy tool are evident in right-to-know laws, open government data programs, and vocal calls for the increasing availability of public information emanating from public and private actors alike [3][4][5][6]. ...
... However, these barriers are not attributable to a simple lack of technical or administrative capacity, and deeper dynamics underlie immediate explanations. Tensions between different institutions-such as the neoliberal market structures that dominate global fisheries and the States that are charged with managing them-may ultimately limit authentic or transformative transparency in transboundary fisheries [1,8]. For example, Petersson et al. found that fishing industry representatives were the most prevalent, consistent, and embedded non-state actors at RFMO meetings, often attending meetings as participants within member state delegations [55]. ...
... Where the interests of public information and accountable resource governance are in tension with the interests of commercial actors, transformative transparency is highly unlikely. Additionally, Gupta suggests that shortcomings in transparency are related to "power imbalances and broader conflicts over norms, practices and objectives" [1]. In addition to the tensions between market and state forces, transparency is also undermined by asymmetries in power relations between actors and their divergent goals. ...
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Article
Transparency is one of the most influential themes in global environmental governance, however it has received limited treatment in transboundary fisheries. Transparency is essential to ensure officials are held accountable for the use of public resources and the achievement of environmental objectives, such as sustainable harvest. Here, we use a case study approach to assess transparency in transboundary fisheries governance, evaluating transshipment in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, one of the world's most abundant and lucrative fisheries. Transshipment at sea occurs extensively in these fisheries, but often lacks strong monitoring and oversight, and has been associated with illegal or illicit activities. However, actors that rely heavily on transshipment at sea maintain that it can be a legitimate part of the fish commodity chain, under effective regulation. Here we assess whether at-sea transshipment in one of the most regulated and visible fisheries in the world is traceable, verifiable, and legal. Using AIS data and qualitative information from regional and sub-regional sources, we find that 68% of observed potential transshipments remain unsubstantiated even after triangulating with diverse data. We identify three primary areas for improving traceability and transparency of transshipment at sea in the WCPO, and suggest that transparency is ultimately hindered less by technical or administrative constraints, but by tensions between the actors and objectives within management institutions. Increased transparency, and a focus on the underlying dynamics that inhibit it, is necessary to ensure effective conservation and management of transboundary fish stocks, now and in the future.
... Böhmelt and Betzold (2013) find that governments tend to make stronger commitments under multilateral environmental treaties where more environmental NGOs have access to treaty negotiations (finding 4a). However, others caution that civil society actors can be co-opted by dominant institutions (Mert 2019), and that transparency and accountability initiatives frequently fail to translate into improved environmental outcomes (Gupta, 2010;Kramarz and Park, 2016;finding 4b). ...
... A major approach to democratising economic transformations toward sustainability has been the establishment of transparency and accountability mechanisms in corporate governance (e.g. Gupta, 2010;Kramarz and Park, 2016). Through both collaborative and confrontational interactions, civil society actors have sought to change business practices through a variety of mechanisms, including corporate reporting legislation, shareholder activism (Grewal et al., 2016), directly "shaming" corporations (Bloomfield, 2014;Dauvergne, 2018), roundtables and multi-stakeholder initiatives (Kalfagianni and Pattberg, 2013;Schleifer and Sun, 2018), eco-labels and certifications (Auld, 2014;van der Ven, 2019), and other forms of private governance (Kalfagianni, 2014;Renckens, 2020). ...
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Article
Many democracies find it difficult to act swiftly on problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss. This is reflected in long-standing debates in research and policy about whether democratic practices are capable of fostering timely, large-scale transformations towards sustainability. Drawing on an integrative review of scholarly literature from 2011 to early 2021 on sustainability transformations and the democracy-environment nexus, this article synthesises existing research on prospects and pitfalls for democratising sustainability transformations. We advance a new typology for understanding various combinations of democratic/authoritarian practices and of transformations towards/away from sustainability. We then explore the role of democratic practices in accelerating or obstructing five key dimensions of sustainability transformations: institutional, social, economic, technological, and epistemic. Across all dimensions we find substantial evidence that democratic practices can foster transformations towards sustainability, and we conclude by outlining a set of associated policy recommendations.
... as a complex matter whose governance is brought by multiple scales of interaction between actors, institutions and environmental systems (Adger et al. 2005;Newell 2006;O'Brien et al. 2000;Wapner 1996;Bulkeley 2005;Ostrom 2008Ostrom , 2010. Respectively, different scales of governance highlight the social component of climate change through discussions on different measures such as civil and political rights (Brooks et al. 2005;Ensor et al. 2015), the availability of decision-support tools (Nay et al. 2014), financial and technical capacity (Dessai et al. 2005;Glaas et al. 2010), socio-political goals (Haddad 2005;Naess et al. 2005;Burch and Robinson 2007), networks and willingness to learn (Conway 2005;Gupta et al. 2010;Tompkins 2005). Bulkeley (2005) particularly emphasizes that environmental governance should be sensitive to both the politics of scale and the politics of networks. ...
... In a parallel debate, in the context of climate change, concerns are also expressed about the accountability of climate policies and the legitimacy of decision-making over the protection of global commons (Gupta 2010;. In climate change planning, scholars address the participation within the context of unequal distribution of projected climate impacts and differing structural and institutional capacities to adapt (Anguelovski and Carmin 2011;Aylett 2010;Barrett 2013;Hughes 2013). ...
Book
The book presents governance with a particular focus on the social and spatial aspects of climate responsiveness and reads the practice of governance across different scales. It conceptualizes a framework of scale composed of three main categories including (i) scientific knowledge, (ii) plans and policies, and (iii) authorities of action. This framework presents ‘practice’ as the social context in which these three can interplay adaptively. Within this framework, the book presents case studies from Turkey, Italy, Ecuador, Chile and the UK, that reach meaningful planning and design solutions at national, city, and neighbourhood scales in the face of climate change. It offers implementation clues that are transferable to ever-increasing climate action around the globe. The book will be of interest to both professionals and scholars involved in urban design, urban planning and architecture, especially those in the field of climate responsive urbanism. It will also be a valuable resource for non-governmental organizations and social enterprises dealing with sustainability and climate change policies.
... Second, the consideration of transparency as an internal decision, in contrast to the most frequently conceptions as an outcome or an external attribute, provided new insights on one of the most under-researched topics in the SCM field (Wieland et al., 2016). Sitting under the performative/behavioural stream of transparency, the consensual definition restricting the recipients of "transparent information" to "legitimate partners or stakeholders" comes to provide answer to the question "transparency for whom?" (Gupta, 2010). ...
... Particularly when, as it is the case, a gap between the benefits expected by the academic literature and the threats to competitivenessas perceived by the industryexists. Such discussion can be guided by the questions proposed by Gupta (2010): why, what, for whom and to what end. The "restrictive" approach here proposed would come to solve the "Reluctant to disclose" barrier, soften the trade-offs derived from transparency's "relationship with secrecy" and prevent the "corporate narratives of selfpraise" that do not end in increased SC sustainability (Gold and Heikkurinen, 2018). ...
Article
Purpose – The relationship between sustainability, traceability and transparency in the fashion-apparel industry, characterised by complex, labour-intensive and geographically dispersed supply chains (SCs), needs further clarification. The first goal of this study is to revise, refine and adapt to the scope of this industry, the conceptualisation of traceability and transparency and their interrelations with sustainability. The second goal is to uncover the key elements responsible for fostering and hindering their relationship in the fashion-apparel practice. Design/methodology/approach – A Delphi study with fourteen experts representing key stakeholders in the entire fashion-apparel SC was carried out. Findings – Operational definitions for and clear boundaries amongst sustainability, traceability and transparency are identified, and a relational model including stakeholder groups and roles, drivers and barriers is developed. Traceability, defined as an ability, together with transparency, conceptualised as an internal decision and assisted (inter alia) by cross-sector collaboration are found to be necessary but not sufficient conditions to achieve SC sustainability, which is conceived as an outcome. Originality/value – The work adapts concepts from the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) literature to the particular fashion-apparel context, incorporating the practical vision and nuances of all the key stakeholder groups and highlighting the mutually reinforcing relationship among traceability, transparency and cross-sector collaboration for effective SSCM in the fashion-apparel industry.
... Transboundary water governance research reflects broader international environmental policy trends, noting a shift from state-centric, topdown governance to more participatory, networked, informal governance practices (Gupta & Pahl-Wostl, 2013;Pahl-Wostl et al., 2008). Researchers highlight the importance of inclusive participation in transboundary water decision-making (e.g., Gupta, 2010;Young, 2017). They draw attention to the need for greater transparency in water governance processes where all actors, including policymakers, scientists, and the public, have the potential to examine the functioning of the organization (Berardo & Gerlak, 2012;Rogers & Hall, 2003). ...
... The CRJCP also included a series of binational trips to familiarize stakeholders on water management realities and limitations in their respective countries (Mumme et al., 2018). Binational trips and compatible hydrological modeling played important roles in promoting transparency, which is thought to bolster effectiveness, legitimacy, effective governance, and sustainability in the transboundary context (Berggren, 2018;Gupta, 2010). ...
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Article
Transboundary collaboration between the United States (US) and Mexico in the Colorado River Basin has heightened in recent years, as climate change, population growth, and overallocation threaten the long-term stability of the region. Through a combination of document analysis and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, we examine patterns of change in the governance of the Colorado River, as the US and Mexico navigate socioeconomic, cultural, and political asymmetries to jointly share water over the past two decades. We ask: What key events and environmental agreements have influenced transboundary water governance in the Colorado River over the past 20 years? We draw on the rich scholarship on transboundary water governance, especially around international river basin organizations, to uncover patterns of engagement and collaboration over time. We focus on the binational scale with an eye to study governance at multiple scales including interactions and impacts at the national and subnational scales. Our findings illustrate how Mexico’s role has evolved from a narrow one following a strict interpretation of the 1944 Treaty toward a more creative partnership between the US and Mexico demonstrated in binational negotiations and the creation of joint solutions to emerging challenges around water conservation and ecological restoration. We find transboundary water governance in the basin is influenced by both long-term and short-term contextual changes that can inform strategies key actors employ to bolster institutional resilience and take advantage of opportunities for transformative change. Further, we find that the evolution of the binational relationship is reflected in changes in the negotiation process and structure, which highlights the importance of trust and relationship building, transparency, joint fact-finding, and information sharing to foster collaboration. However, we also find uneven institutionalization of stakeholder participation and transparency in engagement patterns that may ultimately, serve to hinder governance and cooperation in the basin.
... Analytically, this study draws on Kelly (2011) and Levien (2017) who indicate that (a) dispossession may be a slow and continuous process that takes a long time to achieve the objectives of political and economic elites; (b) states are usually involved in legitimizing dispossession through the law, and (c) struggles of many forms including resistance to the state's actions frequently culminate into violence. Furthermore, to address legitimacy and transparency, the study draws on Bernstein (2004), Biermann and Gupta (2011), Gupta (2010aGupta ( , 2010b. Legitimacy means that "a decision is accepted by those concerned" (Gupta, 2010a(Gupta, , 2010bVatn et al., 2017). ...
... Furthermore, to address legitimacy and transparency, the study draws on Bernstein (2004), Biermann and Gupta (2011), Gupta (2010aGupta ( , 2010b. Legitimacy means that "a decision is accepted by those concerned" (Gupta, 2010a(Gupta, , 2010bVatn et al., 2017). It includes, among others, participation, transparency, and full information-disclosure (ibid). ...
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Article
Unfortunately, adverse rather than positive local welfare outcomes of community-based conservation initiatives are quite common. Through the case of Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) this study documents how WMAs in Tanzania appear designed to facilitate accumulation by dispossession in the name of decentralized wildlife management. Based on focus group discussions, interviews, and policy-document analyses, we show that the process of establishing the WMA was fraught with hidden agendas and lacked legitimacy as well as transparency. Villagers and their local governments were also oblivious to the fact that the village land they contributed to forming the WMA would no longer be under village control even if they withdrew from the WMA. Decentralized revenue streams were gradually recentralized, and when the High Court ruled in favor of a Village Government that did not want to be part of the WMA, higher levels of government scared it to stay and to drop its legal as well as economic claims. We conclude that by mechanisms of rule-through-law WMAs deliberately dispossess village communities by attenuating the authority of democratically elected village governments. Hence, the wildlife policy needs urgent revision to democratize and thus promote positive livelihood outcomes of the WMA concept.
... Within the realm of environmental sustainability, legitimate, accountable, and effective governance of the organization in the form of disclosure of various dimensions of environmental information is a prevalent concern. Firms are being pressured to disclose information about the environmental impacts of products and the production processes used along the supply network to manufacture them (Gupta, 2010;Jira & Toffel, 2013;Mol, 2015). There is increasing evidence regarding the pertinence of environmental disclosure to a firm's performance, value, and reputation (e.g., Flammer, 2013;Grewal, Riedl, & Serafeim, 2019;Hora & Subramanian, 2019;Marquis, Toffel, & Zhou, 2016). ...
... The extent of environmental disclosure by a focal firm is a function of both-its ability to access and compile environmental information from internal as well as external sources, and its motivation or impetus to reveal this information to stakeholders. Generally speaking, firms engage in voluntary environmental disclosure to further their CSR goals or to enhance their legitimacy while simultaneously preempting more stringent mandates, whereas the government and the general public look to voluntary environmental disclosure as a way to address deficits in accountability through socioeconomically and politically less burdensome avenues (Gupta, 2010). It is important to account for factors that may motivate disclosure since firms may choose to selectively disclose environmental information for tactical reasons (Blanco, Caro, & Corbett, 2017;Marquis et al., 2016;Marshall, McCarthy, McGrath, & Harrigan, 2016;Stanny, 2013). ...
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Article
This study contributes to a theoretical and empirical understanding of whether and how administrative environmental innovations (AEIs)—implemented to help track and manage a firm's environmental impacts—are related to environmental disclosure. Drawing on the Belief–Action–Outcome framework, we posit that the motivation of individuals (employees, managers, and the leadership) within the firm to access, use, and act on the environmental information available to them would be enhanced by the firm's implementation of AEIs, resulting in more extensive environmental disclosure by the firm. Additionally, building on the literature on supply chain networks, we posit that the structural position of the firm vis‐à‐vis its supply network—reflecting information flows, network learning, and status—moderates the AEI implementation–environmental disclosure relationship. To test our hypotheses, we build a multi‐industry dataset of 3,106 firm‐year observations based on 67,809 dyadic cost‐of‐goods‐sold‐based relationships obtained from Bloomberg's supply chain relationships database to construct the supply networks of focal firms. We also draw on Bloomberg's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data for our AEI implementation and environmental disclosure measures. We find significant evidence to support our hypothesis that AEI implementation is positively associated with the extent of environmental disclosure. However, the implementation of both internal and external forms of AEIs has a more pronounced positive relationship with the extent of environmental disclosure, compared to the implementation of either form alone. With regard to supply network structure, we identify three principal variables—accessibility, control, and interconnectedness—that influence network learning and status of the focal firm and find that they moderate the AEI implementation–environmental disclosure relationship. We provide insights for theory and practice based on our findings.
... Other scholars have specifically highlighted how transparency and information disclosure are becoming mainstream TEG mechanisms and how limited is our understanding of their drivers, uptake and effectsespecially as governance by disclosure often falls short of actually improving sustainability (Mason, 2008;Gupta, 2008;Gupta, 2010;Gupta and Mason, 2014;Mol, 2015;Gupta et al 2020). Transparency is usually defined as "the public and private governance initiatives that employ targeted disclosure of information as a way to evaluate and/or steer the behavior of selected actors" (Gupta and Mason 2014, p. 6). ...
... The effects of transparency can be categorized in normative outcomes (enhancing the right to know), procedural outcomes (to empower and enhance accountability and legitimacy) or substantive outcomes (reducing risks and environmental harm) (Gupta and Mason 2014). Second, for what actors is the information meant (Gupta, 2010;Mason, 2008;Mol, 2015) and for what purposes? Information can be targeted to downstream value chain actors, regulatory and inspection bodies, consumers and certification bodies and/or the public. ...
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Article
Exploring how transnational environmental governance and the operation of global value chains (GVCs) intersect is key in explaining the circumstances under which mandatory disclosure can improve the environmental footprint of business operations. We investigate how the governance dynamics of the tanker shipping value chain (a major emitter of greenhouse gases) limits the effectiveness of the European Union (EU) monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) regulation, which mandates the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions for ships calling at EU ports. Although MRV seeks to help shipowners and ship managers save fuel and reduce emissions, it does not address the complexity of power relations along the tanker shipping value chain and currently cannot disentangle how different actors influence the design, operational, commercial, and ocean/weather factors that together determine fuel consumption. In particular, the EU MRV neglects to reflect on how oil majors exert their power and impose their commercial priorities on other actors, and thus co-determine fuel use levels. We conclude that, in its current form, the EU MRV is unlikely to lead to significant environmental upgrading in tanker shipping. More generally, we argue that regulators seeking to facilitate environmental upgrading need to expand their focus beyond the unwanted behaviors of producers of goods and providers of services to also address the incentive structures and demands placed on them by global buyers.<br/
... The extension of the accountability theme to include legitimacy enabled the project to encompass a broader range of concerns relevant to democracy, including the inclusion of affected interests in decision-making, the quality of deliberative processes, and the transmission of citizens' concerns to authoritative institutions (Biermann and GUPta, 2011). Nevertheless, for the reasons set out above, it is timely for the project to engage more directly and explicitly with democracy, even as it continues to address still pressing questions around sources and mechanisms of accountability, including calls for ever more transparency (GUPta 2010;GUPta and mason, 2014;GUPta and van asselt, 2017;kramarz and Park, 2016). ...
... Most eco-democratic innovations focus on the domestic level, although there have been some examples at the global level. These include efforts to promote the inclusion of civil society in multilateral environmental negotiations (Betsill and Corell, 2008;BernaUer and Betzold, 2012), institutionalization of procedural environmental rights (as in the Aarhus Convention: see mason, 2010), transnational initiatives to strengthen transparency and accountability (GUPta, 2010;Biermann and GUPta, 2011;kramarz and Park, 2016) and deliberative initiatives to engage the views of citizens around the world on environmental issues, such as the World Wide Views initiatives on climate change and biodiversity (WorthinGton, rask and minna, 2013;rask and WorthinGton, 2015). Yet each of these has its limitations. ...
... Some studies focus on specific types of cooperation between the different spheres in society; for example, exploring the role and functioning of public-private cooperation in what are referred to as partnerships (Davies, 2002;Teisman and Klijn, 2002;Backstrand, 2006;Bitzer, 2011). Other avenues of investigation include: the extent to which citizen participation, deliberative capacity and other aspects of democracy are included in governance processes (Blair, 2000;Fung and Wright, 2001;Swyngedouw, 2005;Buizer and Van Herzele, 2012); the role of power in governance (Swyngedouw, 2000;Rodriguez et al., 2007;Stirling, 2008;Griffin, 2012); the role of scientific knowledge or sciencepolicy interfaces in governance (Haas, 2004;Van den Hove, 2007;Hegger et al., 2012); how governance may be implemented by employing different policy instruments (Bressers and Kuks, 2003;Jordan et al., 2005;Weber et al, 2013); and how institutional settings could be better equipped to deal with complex societal challenges (Healey, 1998;Healey, 1999;Bressers and Kuks, 2003;Dietz et al., 2003;Ostrom and Nagendra, 2006;Gupta et al., 2010). ...
... Other specific steering arrangements for sustainable development are characterised by their orientation to a particular scale, such as global environmental governance (e.g. Langley, 2001;Biermann et al., 2009;Gupta, 2010). Lange et al. (2013) propose a framework for conceptualising and studying modes of governance based on distinguishing among a dimension of political processes involving actors and resources, a dimension involving institutions and norms, and a dimension involving policy objectives and instruments. ...
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Thesis
This dissertation began with a desire to better understand the conceptual and empirical contexts for governance for sustainable development. How does current research define and explain governance for sustainable development? In line with established research, the present study takes up sustainable development as conceptualised and implemented using modes of governance which differ in character and in orientation towards steering and the goal of sustainable development. Like sustainable development, the concept of governance is under debate. Here, the 1987 WCED Brundtland Report definition is taken as a starting point: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1987, p. 1 of Chapter 2). Governance is understood as the act or manner of steering societal developments by public and/or private actors towards collective goals. A mode of governance for sustainable development is defined here as a type of steering arrangement with a certain institutional configuration (including public and/or private actors and different types of institutional relations) that is intended to influence societal changes towards sustainable development. The research focuses on three such modes of governance: adaptive management, transition management and payments for environmental services (PES). These have been selected due to their prominence in the discourse on governance for sustainable development. Adaptive management refers to efforts to enable a social-ecological system to maintain itself over long periods through learning-by-doing and cooperation, and efforts to enhance the adaptive capacity of a system to respond to changing circumstances. Transition management is based on innovation, experimentation and learning, with an orientation towards a long-term vision; it aims to fundamentally alter the structure of a socio-technological system in order to prevent environmental crisis. PES describes efforts to make environmental conservation economically viable by accounting for and preventing negative environmental externalities and by contributing to sustainable livelihoods. Research for this dissertation has found no academic studies that have comparatively examined the selected modes of governance for sustainable development based on empirical analysis. Such analysis can help to understand how the selected modes work in practice and whether they assist in a real-world context in moving towards sustainable development. This study achieves this by examining practical experience with 216 interventions in accordance with the three selected modes of governance as applied in the Dutch fen landscape. Research aim The present study aims to gain greater insight into the key challenges arising in steering towards sustainable development. It achieves this aim by:  Analysing three different modes of governance – adaptive management, transition management and PES – according to their steering mechanisms and orientation towards sustainable development;  Evaluating the three modes according to a set of criteria for governance for sustainable development;  Analysing practical experiences with the selected modes in the Dutch fen landscape.
... Within the realm of environmental sustainability, legitimate, accountable, and effective governance of the organization in the form of disclosure of various dimensions of environmental information is a prevalent concern. Firms are being pressured to disclose information about the environmental impacts of products and the production processes used along the supply network to manufacture them (Gupta, 2010;Jira & Toffel, 2013;Mol, 2015). There is increasing evidence regarding the pertinence of environmental disclosure to a firm's performance, value, and reputation (e.g., Flammer, 2013;Grewal et al., 2019;Hora & Subramanian, 2019;Marquis et al., 2016). ...
... The extent of environmental disclosure by a focal firm is a function of both -its ability to access and compile environmental information from internal as well as external sources, and its motivation or impetus to reveal this information to stakeholders. Generally speaking, firms engage in voluntary environmental disclosure to further their CSR goals or to enhance their legitimacy while simultaneously preempting more stringent mandates, whereas the government and the general public look to voluntary environmental disclosure as a way to address deficits in accountability through socioeconomically and politically less burdensome avenues (Gupta, 2010). It is important to account for factors that may motivate disclosure since firms may choose to selectively disclose environmental information for tactical reasons (Blanco et al., 2017;Marquis et al., 2016;Marshall et al., 2016;Stanny, 2013). ...
... They critically scrutinize the ability of transparency to empower accounting actors in global governance. Transparency may indeed not be a silver bullet, but even these critical scholars continue to view it as a positive force (Gupta 2010;Mol 2010;Gupta & Mason 2014). While the current discussion is mainly centered on the effects of transparency, less is known about its sources. ...
... 39-40). In addition, several scholars that have explored the role of transparency in global environmental governance have expressed skepticism about its ability to truly empower accounting actors (Gupta 2010;Mol 2010;Gupta & Mason 2014). Thus, as observed by Fox (2007), the relationship between transparency and accountability remains uncertain. ...
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Article
The rise of “new” transnational governance has intensified debates about a lack of accountability in global politics. Reviewing the mechanisms through which transparency can foster accountability beyond the state, this article explores the determinants of information disclosure in the field of transnational sustainability governance. Examining the institutional design of 113 voluntary sustainability programs, we find a positive correlation between the involvement of public actors and information disclosure. In contrast, the role of civil society is more ambiguous. There is no statistical support for arguments linking non‐governmental organization participation to increased transparency. At the same time, our analysis reveals a robust correlation between civil society‐led metagovernance and information disclosure. Moreover, we find that crowding has a negative effect on transparency, whereas normative peer pressures have no influence. At a broader level, the analysis reveals a lack of “deep transparency” among transnational sustainability governors. This limits the scope for transparency‐induced accountability in this policy domain.
... On the other hand, transparency, in its simplest form, is the "opposite of secrecy' or in other words "the release of information" to evaluate organizations (Gupta 2010). Transparency is a multifaceted concept often related to accountability and corruption. ...
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This essay is an attempt to answer the questions: (1) to what extent does the ACM approach facilitate conflict resolution between stakeholders to conserve natural resources and promote sustainable tourism in Ecologically Critical Areas of Bangladesh? and (2) to what extent does it facilitate the achievement of the core governance principles such as transparency and accountability and help reduce corruption? We will use Saint Martin island as a case study and identify the governance issues to be addressed in other similar contexts. To answer the questions, we will use the “ten conditions for successful adaptive co-management” framework, as suggested by Armitage et al. (2009). But before that, we will present an account of the contextual backdrop of the island and a theoretical overview of the ACM approach.
... The concept of environmental transparency that involves the disclosure of information related to various aspects of corporate environmental impact and actions has become one of the most important research areas of the last decade ( Gupta, 2010). Recent studies consider environmental transparency as a key concept in environmental management that is important for different stakeholders including governments ( Sun et al., 2019), investors ( Yu et al., 2018), and non-governmental organizations ( Shvarts et al., 2016). ...
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Environmental transparency became a necessary condition for managing relationships with stakeholders and attracting investments for extractive industries. The changing competitive environment and stakeholder demands are pushing oil and gas companies from various countries to disclose additional information on environmental management and environmental impact. Nevertheless, the level of environmental transparency of oil and gas companies still differs. Our study aims to assess the transparency of the world's largest oil and gas companies in terms of the availability of environmental data. We build this research on our successful experiences in the national environmental transparency ratings for Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan. Our sample includes 32 oil and gas companies, global leaders in terms of daily production of liquid hydrocarbons (oil and gas condensate). When assessing environmental transparency, we take into account only information published on corporate websites, in non-financial reporting, and other accessible public resources. Our analysis shows some regional patterns in the distribution of companies: high transparency is most typical for European, American, and Russian companies, while companies from Asia and Africa tend to be less transparent from the environmental point of view. Keywords: environmental transparency, oil and gas companies, environmental management, environmental impact, non-financial reporting, environmental data.
... The role of global actors and donors, such as international organisations and global NGOs in the implementation of the EITI is an important factor in studying the influence of stakeholders in stimulating reflexivity (see e.g.Gustafsson et al., 2020; Rosser & Kartika, 2019).Our findings not only have bearing on the effects of global standards such as the EITI, but also on the transformative potential of transparency and transparency initiatives more broadly. As others have also indicated, information disclosure alone does not have transformative potential, but needs to coincide with wider governance reforms and deliberations around what should be made transparent, by and for whom, and to what end (e.g.Ciplet et al., 2018;Gupta, 2010;Vijge, 2018). For such deliberations to foster deliberative capacity for broader governance reform, they need to be authentic, i.e. non-coercive; inclusive, i.e. allowing a wide range of interests and discourses to exert influence; and consequential, i.e. having an impact on collective decisions or social outcomes(Dryzek, 2009). ...
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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) sets standards to improve the governance of extractive industries and thereby stimulate sustainable development. Member countries implement this standard through a multi-stakeholder group (MSG) which facilitates deliberation between government, civil society and business representatives. This deliberation could enable what we call ‘social-ecological reflexivity’: the ability to reconfigure oneself in response to critical reflection on one's performance in governing not only the economic, but also the social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Such reflexivity is crucial for countries to not only comply with the EITI standard, but also improve governance quality to address the social and environmental impacts from extractive industries. Drawing on a fully operationalised conceptual framework, we analyse social-ecological reflexivity in the implementation of the EITI in Indonesia, a country that is heavily impacted by extractive industries. We draw on content analysis of the MSG meeting minutes and EITI-Indonesia reports between 2012 and 2019. We show that the EITI-Indonesia has not (yet) generated deep social-ecological reflexivity. First, there is limited recognition and rethinking of extractive industry governance and no real response in the form of governance reforms. Second, there are even signs of what we call ‘anti-reflexivity’, whereby members of the multi-stakeholder group ignore and resist public debates around the negative impacts from extractive industries. In analysing the different components and degrees of reflexivity around the EITI-Indonesia, the article provides vital insights into the (study of) conditions under which global norms such as the EITI find meaning in and affect specific contexts.
... Thus, research exploring how transparency initiatives affect value chain actors differently and in particular how they can empower local actors is required (Mol 2015;Aaronson 2016). In this light, the questions of transparency by whom and for whom are relevant (Mol 2015;Gupta 2010b;Mason 2008). Such research would enhance our understanding of the diverse and ambiguous experiences of the benefits of transparency and illustrate the importance of a research agenda that engages local perspectives on the potentials and pitfalls of transparency (see Mol 2015;see Mason 2008; see Gupta 2010b). ...
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This paper examines the newly established mineral markets in Tanzania. These markets aim to ensure tax revenue collection and enhance the transparency of mineral trade within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Geita Region, we show that the enhanced transparency facilitated by these new markets has benefitted artisanal and small-scale gold miners. However, the living conditions of the miners and opportunities for profit have not changed significantly and the miners do not expect that a more transparent value chain will improve their lives. Many miners continue to depend on sponsorships from more powerful actors, which narrows their ability to profit from transparent market structures. Based on these findings , we discuss the ambiguity of transparency, as its transformative potentials are both important and limited and we argue that transparency for small-scale producers is not a straightforward path towards their empowerment.
... Transparency refers to the availability of information about decisionmaking processes and/or outcomes and is seen as central to legitimate environmental governance (Mason 2008, Gupta 2010. The lack of transparency about internal decision-making processes leads to perceptions that foundation priorities and funding choices may reflect private rather than public interests (Holmes 2012). ...
Article
Philanthropic foundations play increasingly prominent roles in the environmental arena, yet remain largely under the radar of environmental governance scholars. We build on the small body of existing research on foundations in environmental governance to outline a research agenda on foundations as agents of environmental governance. The agenda identifies current understandings, debates, and research gaps related to three themes: 1) the roles foundations perform in environmental governance, 2) the outcomes of environmental philanthropy, and 3) the sources of foundation legitimacy. We call for more systematic and empirical research using diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. This research agenda will contribute to literature on agency in environmental governance by providing a more comprehensive picture of who governs the environment and how. Coming at a time when foundations are facing growing public scrutiny, it can also inform contemporary debates and offer practical insights for effective and equitable environmental philanthropy.
... The cases present contrasting approaches to address accountability issues, which have varied implications for moving toward a Type D assurance model. If we assume that transparency leads to greater accountability, recognizing that many scholars remain skeptical about the ability of transparency to foster accountability and therefore improved performance [48][49][50], the promotion of informational transparency in the case of BAMS aligns with principles behind a Type D approach. In contrast, increased surveillance by external state and NGO actors in the case of the PAM and VSAs, constrains these models to move further towards a fully devolved Type D assurance model. ...
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This paper explores the emergence of forms of ‘beyond farm’ assurance in the aquaculture sector, designed to increase the inclusion of smallholders and scale up environmental sustainability. The analysis reveals a ‘spectrum of assurance’, representing contrasting levels of trust in sustainable production and consumption. At one end of this spectrum attempts emerge to foster self-determined assurance models with internal verification that represent growing trust in the ability of subjects to organize sustainability improvements that extend beyond individual farms. The other, more dominant end of this spectrum, however, is populated with prescriptively and externally verified assurance models that demand high levels of control-driven assurance, demonstrating distrust in sustainability practices that extend beyond individual farms. The paper concludes that, to scale up sustainability, beyond farm assurance models must overcome the limitations of prescriptive assurance by finding fundamentally new ways of trusting farmers and their local counterparts in the global agro-food system.
... In a parallel debate, in the context of climate change, concerns are also expressed about the accountability of climate policies and the legitimacy of decision-making over the protection of global commons (Gupta 2010;. In climate change planning, scholars address the participation within the context of unequal distribution of projected climate impacts and differing structural and institutional capacities to adapt (Anguelovski and Carmin 2011;Aylett 2010;Barrett 2013;Hughes 2013). ...
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Tackling climate change is a complex phenomenon which calls for the involvement of different institutions and various actors from different disciplines. The synergies and conflicts among the mitigation and adaptation dimensions of climate change also brings an extra complexity to this challenge. In response to this complexity, this chapter proposes a methodological framework aiming at catalyzing action in democratic planning of climate-responsive cities through the involvement of all interest groups. Departing from democracy theories, the chapter, first, draws the frame of climate action as a democratic act. Then, it elaborates on the significance of participation and action in planning for climate change. The chapter finally proposes a process of co-designing local climate action from a democratic perspective as an opportunity for the society to liberate and take control of the future. It suggests harmonizing scientific knowledge with need-driven and local-specific knowledge. It also underlines critical issues in climate change such as the equal participation of interest groups, their commitment to the process as active and aware citizens, and the generation of shared decisions toward a collective action.
... The concept of environmental transparency that involves the disclosure of information related to various aspects of corporate environmental impact and actions has become one of the most important research areas of the last decade (Gupta, 2010). Recent studies consider environmental transparency as a key concept in environmental management that is important for different stakeholders including governments (Sun et al., 2019), investors , and non-governmental organisations (Shvarts et al., 2016). ...
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This article examines the current state and drivers of environmental transparency in the Russian Mining and Metals sector. The study is based upon 2016–19 successive annual rankings calculated transparently, using publicly available information and a third-party-verified ranking system. Ranking results reveal a definite in-crease in the transparency level of one of the most closed industries in Russia. The findings from the study show that a company’s presence in the stock markets has a positive impact on its openness in environmental matters. However, a company’s listing on an international stock exchange does not guarantee high environmental transparency. Some evidence of a correlation between ranking positions and participation of diversified financial-industrial groups in the share capital was also found. Overall, our analyses suggest that ESG (envi-ronmental, social and governance) management in the Russian mining and metals sector is only in the process of development. To overcome this, the environmental transparency ranking of mining and metals companies in Russia creates a new mechanism for raising public awareness and dialogue between the public and one of the most closed industries. The ranking initiated calculation of industry-average quantitative impact indicators that, as the sample grows, will transform into an important benchmark for corporate self-assessment when comparing Russian practices with those of the largest international and foreign mining and metal companies across the globe
... CEW, 2018). Yet, whether transparency lives up to this transformative promise remains an open question (Fox, 2007;Gupta, 2010;Gupta & van Asselt, 2019;Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen et al., 2018). ...
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Transparency is increasingly central to multilateral climate governance. In this article, we undertake one of the first systematic assessments of the nature and extent of compliance with transparency requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Extensive resources are now being devoted to setting up national and international transparency systems that aim to render visible what individual countries are doing with regard to climate change. It is widely assumed that such transparency is vital to securing accountability, trust and thereby also enhanced climate actions from all. Yet, whether transparency lives up to this transformative promise remains largely unexamined. We generate a first systematic overview here of the nature and extent of country engagement with and adherence to UNFCCC transparency requirements. Drawing on extensive primary documents, including national reports and technical expert assessments of these reports, we generate ‘Transparency Adherence Indices’ for developed and developing country Parties to the UNFCCC. Our results reveal wide variations in adherence to mandatory reporting requirements and no clear general pattern of improvement since 2014. Our Indices help to illustrate trends and highlight knowledge gaps around the observed adherence patterns. This is timely since the 2015 Paris Agreement calls for an ‘enhanced transparency framework’ to be implemented by 2024 that builds on existing UNFCCC transparency systems. We conclude with identifying a research and policy agenda to help explain observed patterns of adherence, and emphasize the need for continued scrutiny of assumed links between transparency and climate action. Key policy insights • The UNFCCC and its 2015 Paris Agreement call for ever greater climate transparency from all countries. • We develop ‘Transparency Adherence Indices’ that reveal frequency of engagement and adherence to reporting requirements of both developed and developing countries. • Our findings reveal high engagement in transparency arrangements by developed countries and variable engagement from developing countries. • We question what variable adherence to reporting requirements actually signifies, given how such adherence is assessed within UNFCCC technical expert reports. • Further research to explain the range of observed adherence patterns is important, in light of the Paris Agreement’s requirements for enhanced transparency from all. • The assumed link between enhanced transparency and climate action needs further analysis.
... As these schemes have matured, their flaws and defects have become more apparent to researchers and policy makers, with Arthur Mol (2014) suggesting that transparency in global environmental governance had "lost its innocence." Reflecting this "coming of age" (Gupta 2010), existing scholarship highlights the emergence "governance by disclosure" and accompanying regimes of power (Gupta and Mason 2014). Upon reviewing two decades of articles published in Global Environmental Politics, Clapp and Dauvergne (2016) observe that the trend toward studying large, formal schemes through modeling and statistical analysis risks disconnecting scholars in this field from inductive, problem-focused research. ...
Article
Privately commissioned public inquiries in extractive industries are an enormously rich source of data for scholars of global environmental politics. This untapped arena comprises a series of unconventional inquiries in response to contentious socioenvironmental events and incidents, whereby large resource companies commission studies, relinquish control over the process, and publicly release findings. These inquiries are an episodic but persistent feature of the resource governance landscape in the global mining industry—one of the world’s most contentious, environmentally disruptive, and influential sectors. We argue that there is a certain independence or autonomy associated with these inquiries, justifying their analytical separation from internal corporate governance. Above all, these inquiries provide opportunities for scholars of global environmental politics to consolidate their activist roots and connect local realities to global debates. We offer a set of preliminary of research questions and describe points of access for future research.
... Scholars argue that countries in the tropics often have institutional, economic and political disadvantages in responding effectively to multifaceted and complex challenges, such as those related to society-nature interactions [6][7][8][9]. The international community has therefore taken a substantial interest in facilitating the national efforts of tropical countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation because such interventions are of interest and benefit at a global scale. ...
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REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) aims to achieve its purpose by working across multiple sectors and involving multi-level actors in reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. By contrast, the European Union (EU) Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) focus on forestry and functions at bilateral state level. The FLEGT Action Plan specifically aims to tackle illegal logging, legalise timber production and trade improve forest governance in countries exporting tropical timber to the EU. Since illegal logging is just one driver of deforestation and forest degeneration, and legalisation of logging does not necessarily reduce deforestation and forest degradation, the two instruments differ in scale and scope. However, by addressing the causes of deforestation and forest degradation and their underlying governance issues, the EU FLEGT and REDD+ share many functional linkages at higher levels of forest policy and forest governance. The contribution and participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) and other actors is imperative to both processes. Our study is based on a survey of key actors (national and international) in REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Our analysis was guided by the theoretical perspectives of the policy arrangement approach and examination of two specific dimensions of this approach, namely resources and rules of the game. This paper argues that participation of CSOs in both processes is crucial as it facilitates and nurtures the very much needed cooperation between other national and international actors. The paper also argues that participation of CSOs feeds valuable information and knowledge into REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes, thus contributing to increased legitimacy, justice and transparency.
... Access to information, under these programs is meant to facilitate organizational accountability toward environmental and public health obligations. More importantly, accurate data and transparent methods are needed for governments to make good policy decisions and for the general public to, for example, assess health risks and make informed decisions about sustainable use of the environment (Gupta, 2010;Friess and Webb, 2011). There is further evidence that improved governance through integrated forms of civil society−led meta-governance is related to information disclosure (Schleifer et al., 2019). ...
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With increasing human populations in coastal regions, there is growing concern over the quality of wastewater treatment plant (WTPs) discharge and its impacts on coastal biodiversity, recreational amenities and human health. In Australia, the current system of WTP monitoring and reporting varies across states and jurisdictions leading to a lack of data transparency and accountability, leading to a reduced ability to comprehensively assess regional and national scale biodiversity impacts and health risks. The National Outfall Database (NOD) was developed to provide a centralized spatial data management system for sharing and communicating comprehensive, national-scale WTP pollutant data. This research describes the structure of the NOD and through self-organizing maps and principal component analysis, provides a comprehensive, national-scale analysis of WTP effluent. Such a broad understanding of the constituents and level of pollutants in coastal WTP effluent within a public database provides for improved transparency and accountability and an opportunity to evaluate health risks and develop national water quality standards.
... Drawing on her forensic examination of the Bhopal tragedy, Jasanoff (1988) argues that transparency is a political project that should disrupt the corporate prerogative to externalise risk and render other groups vulnerable to disaster. Following Jasanoff's call for scholars of industrial disasters to attend to power and privilege, Gupta (2008Gupta ( , 2010 encourages researchers to investigate whether transparency systems serve to reinforce or reconstitute existing power relations. Particular attention should be given to how disclosers respond to user decisions and actions. ...
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In this article, we critically analyse emerging regulatory controls around the design and management of tailings facilities in the global mining industry. Following several high profile, catastrophic tailings facility failures, a Global Tailings Review (GTR) was established to develop a new industry Standard. We describe the precursors to the GTR and review the public disclosure requirements of 19 separate industry‐endorsed standards and certification schemes. On several criteria, the GTR Standard requires unprecedented levels of public disclosure by mining companies. Does this amount to a ‘transparency turn’ in tailings management? We argue that while improved disclosure provisions may provide visibility for investors, regulators and other stakeholders, the socialisation of transparency norms is a highly complex, contingent and ultimately fragile endeavour. Using indicators relevant to achieving transparency, we demonstrate the contextual variability into which mining companies will be disclosing information. Our analysis highlights the sheer number of tailings facilities in locations with multi‐dimensional complexity, including low levels of literacy and governance, with correspondingly high levels of inequality and corruption. We discuss these conditionalities in relation to the GTR Standard, and conclude by outlining future research priorities.
... Within environmental governance initiatives, transparency is considered to be an unalloyed good that can empower the weak and hold the powerful accountable through the disclosure of information (Gupta, 2010;Levy and Johns, 2016). As Ananny and Crawford (2017) argue, "transparency concerns are commonly driven by a certain chain of logic: observation produces insights which create the knowledge required to govern and hold systems accountable" (974). ...
Article
The design and use of environmental data infrastructures, including software platforms, sensors, satellite data, mobile phone apps, and digitally generated visual representations, is increasingly inseparable from contemporary environmental governance. Such technologies are often intended to enable data transparency, which in turn is assumed to promote expanded participation in democratic governance. In this article, we investigate how environmental monitoring, as performed through domestic and globalized infrastructures that seek to make digital environmental data open and transparent, is playing out in Myanmar’s forest sector. New data infrastructures are inseparable from the proliferation of non-state actors involved in environmental governance amid the country’s transition from military surveillance state toward more liberal and democratic rule, yet participation is not universal. We argue that actors engage new platforms and tools based on different understandings of the role of increased data transparency in environmental governance, which in turn are structured by historical relations with and within the legacy of the surveillance state.
... Do ponto de vista empírico, diversas democracias têm se esforçado no sentido de ampliar as iniciativas de transparência e garantir que os cidadãos não dependam apenas da boa vontade de gestores e servidores para que tenham a informações de interesse público (Gupta, 2010). Os desenhos institucionais mais sofisticados investem na própria noção de transparência como política pública, buscando superar resistências de diversas naturezas, como a cultura do segredo que ainda predomina em determinados âmbitos oficiais (Marques, 2016). ...
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A aprovação de dispositivos legais relacionados à transparência exigiu que instituições e agentes do Estado brasileiro passassem a tornar publicamente disponíveis informações de interesse dos cidadãos. Em tal contexto, a atuação do Jornalismo se mostra mais relevante tanto ao constranger a esfera política, quanto ao traduzir para a audiência o que significam os dados ora disponíveis. Este artigo tem como objetivo principal examinar a cobertura noticiosa dos jornais Folha de S. Paulo (FSP) e O Estado de S. Paulo (OESP) – dois dos periódicos de maior prestígio do país – sobre a Lei de Acesso à Informação (L..A.I.) durante os seis primeiros anos após a aprovação do dispositivo por parte do Congresso (de janeiro de 2012 a dezembro 2017). A intenção é investigar o conteúdo de matérias que mencionam a L.A.I. brasileira e, também, textos em que a lei foi utilizada como recurso para a obtenção de informações. A seção empírica examina 734 notícias por meio de Análise de Conteúdo quantitativa. A investigação descobriu que as coberturas de FSP e OESP empregaram a L.A.I. prioritariamente para a obtenção de informações a respeito de órgãos vinculados ao Poder Executivo Federal. Os resultados também apontam um aumento progressivo da utilização de tal ferramenta ao longo dos anos – o que indica que o Jornalismo brasileiro tem adaptado suas rotinas de produção às oportunidades oferecidas pelo quadro legal vigente.
... Throughout this process, experts are expected to take control by leading development with confidence, while simultaneously empowering users and revealing own limitations, uncertainties and asking for input. This complex web of demands is compounded by the often diverging needs and priorities of stakeholder groups, private versus public interests, and heightening awareness of the role of informational governance in global sustainability [18,19]. Scientific problem solving normally thrives under conditions of consistency and clear problem definition, but paradoxes prevent such clarity. ...
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In the Arctic region, sea ice retreat as a decadal-scale crisis is creating a challenging environment for navigating long-term sustainability. Innovations in sea ice services can help marine users to anticipate sea ice concentration, thickness and motion, plan ahead, as well as increase the safety and sustainability of marine operations. Increasingly however, policy makers and information service providers confront paradoxical decision-making contexts in which contradictory solutions are needed to manage uncertainties across different spatial and temporal scales. This article proposes a forward-looking sea ice services framework that acknowledges four paradoxes pressuring sea ice service provision: the paradoxes of performing, contradictory functions embedded in sea ice services, contradicting desired futures and the paradox of responsible innovation. We draw on the results from a multi-year co-production process of (sub)seasonal sea ice services structured around scoping interviews, workshops and a participatory scenario process with representatives of marine sectors, fishers, hunters, metservice providers, and policy experts. Our proposed framework identifies institutionalized coproduction processes, enhanced decision support, paradoxical thinking and dimensions of responsible innovation as tactics necessary to address existing tensions in sea ice services. We highlight the role of socio-economic scenarios in implementing these tactics in support of responsible innovation in sea ice social–ecological systems. The article concludes with a discussion of questions around equity and responsibility raised by the ultimate confirmation that enhanced information, data infrastructures, and service provisions will not benefit all actors equally.
... As such, RGI fits in the currently popular transparency-based model of governance, e.g. regulation by revelation or regulation by disclosure mode (see Gupta, 2010). Interestingly, NRGF also makes a reference to 'open and accessible information regarding the actions of relevant authorities' as an important source of accountability (Springer, 2016: 9). ...
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The frameworks and indices used for carrying out formal assessments of natural resource governance often fail to address a series of fundamental questions as to governance for what, by whom, under what conditions, and toward what ends? In this chapter, the author draws on a political economy of institutions approach to develop a parsimonious meta-framework comprising of five key dimensions of governance that are theoretically informed, internally consistent, and externally generalizable. To illustrate the novel contributions of this approach, the author applies this meta-framework to analyze three prominent frameworks related to the governance of natural resources in a variety of natural resource sectors: Resource Governance Index (RGI) developed by Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) developed by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Resource Politics for a Fair Future, a Memorandum of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The development of the framework and its application to the analysis of prominent natural resource governance frameworks contributes new insights to the challenge of governing natural resources in this era of global environmental change amidst deep inequalities between key actors in the state, society and markets.
... Calls for transparency date back at least to the League of Nations, when internationalists demanded open diplomacy. Yet, it is in the subfield of GEG, and its developments on nonstate actors as a key research topic (see introduction), where the practice and theory of transparency has made the most profound inroads (Gupta 2010a). GEG has been a particularly fertile ground for the development of informational governance (Mol 2008) and the rise of numerous transparency initiatives which have been analyzed in a rapidly developing literature. ...
... Accountability, legitimacy, and participation in environmental governance are increasingly contested via the production, collection, distribution, use, and transparency of information and knowledge (Sabel et al. 2000;Mol 2010;Karkkainen 2001). It is no coincidence that some scholars have emphasized "transparency-based" (Gupta 2010;Florini 2010) governance or "information-based" (Sabel et al. 2000;O'Rourke and Lee 2004) or "informational" (Soma et al. 2016;Mol 2010) governance to denote new modes of environmental governance, all of which tend to place democratic principles of transparency, accountability, participation, and empowerment at the center. ...
... Such safeguards can range from secure property rights, better transparency and accountability, effective anti-corruption measures, and participation through free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) [18,19]; sustainability certification is also growing in popularity, but impacts remains unclear or controversial [20,21]. Nonetheless, implementing these safeguards in some form is becoming an increasingly required and normal way of conducting business across many sectors (e.g., see [22]). ...
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Protected areas are considered the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation, but face multiple problems in delivering this core objective. The growing trend of framing biodiversity and protected area values in terms of ecosystem services and human well-being may not always lead to biodiversity conservation. Although globalization is often spoken about in terms of its adverse effects to the environment and biodiversity, it also heralds unprecedented and previously inaccessible opportunities linked to ecosystem services. Biodiversity and related ecosystem services are amongst the common goods hardest hit by globalization. Yet, interconnectedness between people, institutions, and governments offers a great chance for globalization to play a role in ameliorating some of the negative impacts. Employing a polycentric governance approach to overcome the free-rider problem of unsustainable use of common goods, we argue here that REDD+, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate change mitigation scheme, could be harnessed to boost biodiversity conservation in the face of increasing globalization, both within classic and novel protected areas. We believe this offers a timely example of how an increasingly globalized world connects hitherto isolated peoples, with the ability to channel feelings and forces for biodiversity conservation. Through the global voluntary carbon market, REDD+ can enable and empower, on the one hand, rural communities in developing countries contribute to mitigation of a global problem, and on the other, individuals or societies in the West to help save species they may never see, yet feel emotionally connected to.
... Li & Li, 2012). Our study sheds light on the moderating effects of environmental transparency, which has been regarded as a vital part of environmental governance (Gupta, 2010) but has not yet been paid sufficient attention in the study of environmental quality perceptions in China and other developing countries. Third, existing studies have treated actual air pollution as an important independent predictor and focused on the impact of air quality indicators on public health (e.g., Chen et al., 2017), happiness (e.g., Z. Li, Folmer, & Xue, 2014), satisfaction (e.g., Smyth, Mishra, & Qian, 2008;Yang & Yang, 2011), and behavioral responses (e.g., Qin & Zhu, 2018). ...
Article
Using data from the China Social Survey 2013 and statistics from the Ministry of Environment Protection of China and the Institute of Public & Environment Affairs, this study empirically examines the relationship between actual and perceived air pollution and the moderating effect of environmental transparency on that relationship with a multilevel ordered logistic strategy. Estimations indicate a significant congruence of actual (both particulate matter less than 10 mm in diameter and sulfur dioxide) and perceived air pollution. More importantly, environmental transparency of local government is found to moderate the relationship between actual and perceived air pollution by neutralizing the halo effects and building more alert perceptions when local air quality deteriorates. Our findings not only challenge the work of identifying a mismatch of actual–perceived air pollution in some developed countries but also suggest that, apart from abating actual air pollution, environmental transparency should be emphasized and strengthened in institutional buildings to help address pollution challenges in developing countries.
... In this study, we focus on one of the government e orts in addressing environmental pollution, information transparency. Environment transparency is considered as an essential part of global environmental governance (Gupta 2010). It is believed that environmental transparency can protect individuals from environmental harms, enhance environmental enforcement, and facilitate social learning (Li and Li 2012). ...
... Secondly, the rise of the EITI was to a great extent motivated by the discourse of governance by disclosure, a strand of the field of global governance since the early 1990s (Wilson and Van Alstine 2014). Accordingly, governance by disclosure emphasizes the disclosure of information by both government and non-government actors as a means of steering accountability (Gupta 2010). On this basis, the EITI emerged to promote disclosure of extractive resource revenues by both governments and extractive companies. ...
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The proper management of natural resources and its proceeds is critical for resource-rich countries. Many resource-rich countries have arguably been plagued by aspects of what scholars call ‘the resource curse’. Overcoming ‘the curse' has thus occupied center stage in studies about extractive resource governance. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been promoted as having the potential to overcome some aspects of the resource curse especially the ‘rentier politics’. Several countries have adopted and domesticated the initiative. However, studies on transparency present contradictory findings about the usefulness of the initiative. This paper examines Tanzania’s adoption and implementation of transparency in extractive sector governance. The paper examined Tanzania’s EITI implementation process, its reconciliation reports and how these reports are used by the parliament, media and civil society to push for governance improvements in the sector. The review of these key documents found that adoption and implementation of the EITI has improved the extractive sector governance by making it more transparent and accountable.
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‘AKOBEN Programme’ named after an 'Adinkra' symbol signifying vigilance, circumspection, and preparedness the underlying principles for the first “environmental performance rating and public disclosure initiative” which came into effect in the year 2010 was to serves as a continuous monitoring tool for gold mining companies among others post their environmental impact assessment in Ghana. Based on several criteria including legal requirements, environmental monitoring / reporting, hazardous / toxic waste management, best practices in environmental management, complaints management, compliance to environmental quality standards, community relation and corporate social responsibility policy, the effectiveness of the ‘AKOBEN Programme’ as a wholly Ghanaian tool for promoting good environmental stewardship was assessed. An adapted version of the integrated policy analysis, which links actual programme performance with criteria for programme performance consisting of an ‘AKOBEN Programme’ commitment review, an ‘AKOBEN Programme’ strategy scan and an ‘AKOBEN Programme’ plan and strategy mix matrix were used in scrutinizing environmental commitments mandated by the ‘AKOBEN Programme’. Even though the ‘AKOBEN Programme’ does not have specific legislations it relies on legal frameworks ‘Environmental Protection Agency Act 1994 (Act 490)’ and Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999, Legislative Instrument 1652. The effect of the ‘AKOBEN Programme’ with reference to air / water quality monitoring, ‘complaints management / community relations and corporate social responsibility’ are moderately positive (++M), highly positive (+++H) and moderately positive (++M) respectively. This study will provide scientifically credible suggestion to gaps in Ghana’s ‘AKOBEN Programme’ for improved environmental governance in Ghana.
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Qu’on le déplore ou non, notre rapport au monde biophysique est désormais fermement médiatisé par la mesure et les données numériques. Véritable Janus, cette information dite « environnementale » nous contraint autant qu’elle nous libère et fait l’objet de controverses brûlantes. Vecteur de démocratisation là où elle permet aux populations de connaître les risques qui les concernent et de participer aux décisions environnementales, elle s’avère dangereuse lorsqu’elle renforce des situations de domination sociale, ou appauvrissante quand elle réduit notre compréhension du monde vivant à quelques variables chiffrées. Incapable de représenter la complexité de ce vivant et du rapport que tissent avec lui les humains, elle connecte autant qu’elle marginalise les êtres et les choses. Les enquêtes sud-américaines de cet ouvrage explorent ce que le numérique change aux façons contemporaines d’appréhender les problèmes environnementaux, à travers des récits qui racontent plusieurs tentatives de « mise en bases de données » de la nature au xxie siècle. De la Pachamama andine au symbole global amazonien, des luttes populaires pour le droit à l’information aux velléités de régulation à distance de l’agrobusiness, des controverses sur la standardisation de nos rapports au vivant aux quêtes de souveraineté informationnelle, c’est à un bilan politique nuancé et complexe que le lecteur est convié.
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ABSTRAKUU Cipta Kerja dalam Pasal 39 ayat (2) untuk pertama kali mengatur keputusan kelayakan lingkungan harus diumumkan melalui sistem elektronik. Secara bersamaan, penyebaran Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) terbukti telah menjadi pemicu bagi Pemerintah dalam melakukan percepatan pengembangan penyusunan dan penilaian Amdal melalui sistem elektronik ‘Amdal.net’, yang seharusnya, juga menjadi penyelesaian baru bagi banyaknya masalah transparansi dan sengketa informasi dokumen Amdal di Indonesia selama ini. Aturan tersebut seolah dibuat agar mampu meyakinkan masyarakat bahwa transparansi akan lebih terjamin, padahal regulasi serupa yang ada juga belum terlaksana dengan baik, bahkan UU Cipta Kerja menghilangkan prinsip pemberian informasi dokumen Amdal yang sebelumnya terakomodir dalam Pasal 26 ayat (2) UU PPLH. Metode Penulisan dalam tulisan ini menggunakan metode pendekatan yuridis normatif. Tahap Penulisan melalui penulisan kepustakaan yang dilakukan dengan mencari data sekunder termasuk bahan hukum primer, sekunder, dan tersier. Tulisan ini merupakan suatu bentuk analisis kritis atas belum adanya pengaturan Amdal yang memadai terkait transparansi pengumuman usulan rencana usaha, dokumentasi saran, pendapat, tanggapan (SPT) masyarakat dan tanggapannya, hingga transparansi dokumen Amdal dalam pengumuman penerbitan Izin Lingkungan. Hal ini agar peraturan perundang-undangan di masa depan terkait pelaksanaan transparansi informasi dokumen Amdal dapat menghasilkan perbaikan signifikan, melalui sistem elektronik sebagai pembentukan sistem pengawasan publik.Kata kunci: analisis mengenai dampak lingkungan hidup (amdal); sistem informasi lingkungan hidup; transparansi informasi dokumen lingkungan. ABSTRACTArticle 39 Paragraph (2) of Indonesian Omnibus Law, for the first time, regulates that the decision of the Amdal must be announced through electronic system. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a trigger for the government to speed up the development of environmental impact assesment (Amdal) through electronic system (Amdal.net), that should also resolve many transparency issues and information disputes regarding Amdal in Indonesia. Hence, the regulation was made to guarantee the transparency improvement to the public, however, similar regulations before have never been fully implemented. Even further, Omnibus Law has eliminated Amdal document information providing principles which previously accomodated on Article 26 Protection and Management of Environment Law. Used research method is juridical normative. Writing phase is done by finding secondary data using primary, secondary and tertiary legal materials. This paper is a form of critical analysis of the absence of adequate regulations regarding Amdal related to the transparency of the proposal, records of the citizen input with the documents of response, and also the decisions. So that, the future regulation regarding Amdal documents transparency, through Electronic System will result in significant improvements, as a supportive public law supervision system.Keywords: environmental document and information transparency; environmental impact assesment (amdal); environmental information system.
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This article applies the Bonferroni prioritized induced heavy ordered weighted average (OWA) to analyze a series of data and focuses on the Bonferroni average and heavy induced prioritized aggregation operators. The objective of the present work is to present a new aggregation operator that combines the heavy induced prioritized Bonferroni and its formulations and represents the Bonferroni mean with variables that induce an order with vectors that are greater than one. This work develops some extensions using prioritization. The main advantage is that different types of information provided by a group of decision makers to compare real situations are included in this formulation. Finally, an example using the operators to calculate the transparency of the websites of the 32 states of Mexico was performed. The main idea was to visualize how the ranking can change depending on the importance of the five components of the methodology. The main results show that it is possible to detect some important changes depending on the operator and the experts considered.
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Corruption and sustainability remain central themes in the study of energy and climate governance as well as energy transitions. Almost half of the human population globally (3.5 billion people) resides in countries with large endowments of fossil fuels or minerals, yet many governments and companies operating in these countries do not release timely, full, open, transparent data about the extraction of those resources or the revenues produced. Many academic theorists have suggested that transparency—“timely and reliable economic, social and political information accessible to all relevant stakeholders” —can partially counteract some of the governance challenges facing the energy sector and improve social welfare. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) operates on the principle of having accountable and transparent assessments of the ways that extractive industries companies interact with governments and moderate their social and economic impacts. As of early 2020, its revenue transparency standards were being implemented in 52 countries, and it included almost $2.5 trillion in government revenues from oil, gas, and mining spread across more than 300 years of report coverage. Does the transparency promulgated by the EITI produce better governance and development outcomes in EITI compliant countries? Does it accelerate or retard a transition to lower-carbon forms of energy? Using a unique dataset of 218 countries, the paper quantitatively assesses the correlative performance of the first 12 countries to attain EITI compliant status on a series of metrics over the period 2000 to 2020 compared to all non-EITI countries. These 12 EITI Compliant Countries reported 57 separate revenue streams covering oil, gas, and minerals; involved 652 companies; and were responsible for $169 billion in government revenue when they joined the EITI, meaning they represented a sizable chunk of EITI assets at that time.
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Die Legitimationsbedürftigkeit internationaler Autorität gehört zum zentralen Credo des von Michael Zürn und anderen propagierten Forschungsprogramms zur Politisierung internationaler Organisationen (IOs). Problematisch bleibt diesbezüglich die gängige Forschungspraxis, IOs als vergleichsweise passive Adressaten von Politisierung zu behandeln. Die zunehmende Professionalisierung von IO-Öffentlichkeitsarbeit stellt jedoch einen wichtigen Prozess institutionellen Wandels dar, der nicht zuletzt als Reaktion auf Politisierung verstanden werden muss. Mit Hilfe von Öffentlichkeitsarbeit wird es IOs zunehmend möglich, machtvoll in öffentliche Deutungs- und Bewertungsprozesse internationalen Regierens einzugreifen. Der Beitrag illustriert dies an der Kommunikation der Vereinten Nationen (UN) der Verhandlungen zum internationalen Waffenhandelsvertrag (ATT) sowie Fällen sexueller Ausbeutung und sexuellen Missbrauchs im Kontext von Friedensmissionen (SEA). Die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit der UN trug in beiden Fällen strategische Züge - im Fall des ATT-Prozesses eher im Sinne advokatorischer Governance, im Falle von SEA eher im Sinne einer Selbstlegitimation internationaler Autorität. Diese Beobachtungen wiegen schwer, da abschließend auch gezeigt wird, dass strategische Kommunikation deutliche Spuren im globalen Nachrichtenfluss hinterlassen hat.
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President Trump and his administration have been regarded by news outlets and scholars as one of the most hostile administrations towards scientists and their work. However, no study to-date has empirically measured how federal scientists perceive the Trump administration with respect to their scientific work. In 2018, we distributed a survey to over 63,000 federal scientists from 16 federal agencies to assess their perception of scientific integrity. Here we discuss the results of this survey for a subset of these agencies: Department of Interior (DOI) agencies (the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the US Geological Survey, and the National Park Service); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We focus our analysis to 10 key questions fitting within three core categories that relate to perceptions of integrity in science. Additionally, we analyzed responses across agencies and compare responses in the 2018 survey to prior year surveys of federal scientists with similar survey questions. Our results indicate that federal scientists perceive losses of scientific integrity under the Trump Administration. Perceived loss of integrity in science was greater at the DOI and EPA where federal scientists ranked incompetent and untrustworthy leadership as top barriers to science-based decision-making, but this was not the case at the CDC, FDA, and NOAA where scientists positively associated leadership with scientific integrity. We also find that reports of political interference in scientific work and adverse work environments were higher at EPA and FWS in 2018 than in prior years. We did not find similar results at the CDC and FDA. These results suggest that leadership, positive work environments, and clear and comprehensive scientific integrity policies and infrastructure within agencies play important roles in how federal scientists perceive their agency’s scientific integrity.
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Research on the relationship between information, technology, and environmental governance in the current Information Age has gained momentum in recent years. Nevertheless, much theoretical, empirical, and normative issues remain seriously under-explored. Existing studies also tend to be predominantly based on contexts, experiences, and lessons in advanced democratic societies. What the rapid developments in new information technologies, data, and information networks might mean for environmental politics and governance in non-democratic contexts remains even more elusive. This special issue brings together some of the latest research in the context of contemporary China to shed light on some of these fundamental issues. We argue that the role of information has evolved over time as dominant approaches to environmental regulation have shifted. Yet, findings in this special issue show that how it has manifested in China thus far has been anything but straightforward. While a few parallels can be drawn between advanced democratic countries and China, many of the predictions made about the effects of data and information technologies have not been borne out in China. We raise several questions as a fruitful avenue for further research.
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Transparency in climate finance mechanisms, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), relies on the transfer of information within a complex global web of state and nonstate actors. Such information is required under internationally agreed REDD+ safeguards, including measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) processes and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and works to establish substantive and normative transparency. However, the sources of, access to, and outcomes from these information flows are still contentious. To address these problems, REDD+ project proponents are increasingly looking to information and communication technologies, such as mobile devices, to improve information gathering, processing, and access. In this article we develop a model and provides tentative examples of how normative and substantive transparency are connected through input and output legitimacy within broader governance contexts. We highlight that even though mobile devices are being used to bring forest communities into the REDD+ process, substantive transparency for emissions reductions through MRV tends to be prioritized over normative dimensions associated with FPIC. We conclude by highlighting the need to further understand the role of decentralized information flows in multilevel carbon governance and opportunities for how mobile technologies may be used to address transparency challenges in the governance of REDD+.
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Along with the increasing commodification of all aspects of culture and the persistent aestheticisation of everyday life under late capitalism, there is an equally increasing longing for objectivity, immediacy, and trust. As the mediation of our everyday experiences augments, a generalised feeling of mistrust in institutions reigns; the sense of a need to bypass them increases, and the call for more “transparency” intensifies. As transparency manages to bypass critical examination, the term becomes a source of tacit social consensus. This paper argues that the proliferation of contemporary discourses favouring transparency has become one of the fundamental vehicles for the legitimation of neoliberal hegemony, due to transparency's own conceptual structure-a formula with a particularly sharp capacity for translating structures of power into structures of feeling. While the ideology of transparency promises a movement towards the abolition of unequal flows of information at the basis of relations of power and exploitation, it simultaneously sustains a regime of hyper-visibility based on asymmetrical mechanisms of accountability for the sake of profit. The solution is not “more” transparency or “better” information, but to critically examine the emancipatory potential of transparency at the conceptual level, inspecting the architecture that supports its parasitic logic.
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The Paris Agreement charts a new course for measuring, reporting, verification (MRV) of State obligations with the intensification of the emphasis on the criterion of transparency. This is, in part, responsive to modern debates in regards to environmental law generally and climate law in particular. Transparency is crucial to the success or failure of climate mitigation and adaption regimes because climate governance is intimately connected to the ideals of deliberative democracy, public participation, and the rule of law. The Paris Agreement thus presents a ground-breaking and important point in time for both developed and developing States. Aligned with this requirement is the desire to increase the amount and flow of ‘climate finance’ from developed to developing states. The associated need for transparency in funding flows has been raised in part through the accusations of misused or inadequate funds, ‘tied’ funding and double counting. Though there are new informational requirements placed on states in the Paris Agreement, they also present considerable practical challenges. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the principle of transparency in climate finance and to chart the direction of the associated informational requirements in light of the measures agreed at Paris.
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In scholarly and popular literatures alike, there is increasing frustration with democracies’ ineffectual response to environmental challenges. Thus, authoritarian environmentalism has been speculated as a viable alternative. This article empirically studies the case of China, because it is hypothesized to be a likely candidate for an authoritarian environmentalist success. Using ethnographic evidence drawn from three purposefully-selected most-likely cases of environmental governance success in China, this article argues that Chinese state bureaucracies practice a distinct kind of environmentalism; an environmental challenge has to be translated into quantifiable targets and, at the same time, be fitted squarely into the fragmented organization of the government before state intervention is possible. The current analysis provides an evidence-based rebuttal to the authoritarian environmentalism hypothesis, and challenges environmental sociologists to closely examine enabling conditions for effective governance in the Anthropocene.
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T wo standards of behavior are slugging it out around the world. Advocates of well-established norms such as corporate pri-vacy and national sovereignty want to hide information from prying eyes, while promoters of transparency tout it as the solution to everything from international financial crises to arms races and street crime. Just what is transparency? Put simply, transparency is the opposite of secrecy. Secrecy means deliberately hiding your actions; trans-parency means deliberately revealing them. This element of volition makes the growing acceptance of transparency much more than a resigned surrender to the technologically facilitated intrusiveness of the Information Age. Transparency is a choice, encouraged by changing attitudes about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Transparency and secrecy are not either/or conditions. As ideals, they represent two ends of a continuum. What we are seeing now is a rapid-ly evolving shift of consensus among observers and actors worldwide about where states and corporations should be on that continuum. For corporations, the point of balance is moving away from an emphasis on privacy to agreement on financial transparency and corporate social responsibility. For nation-states, the shift is occurring between old ideas of sovereignty, which allowed states to keep the world out of their domestic matters, and a new standard that they must explain their actions to the world. Although usually considered separately, tram-A N N F L 0 a I N I is a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her monograph on transnational governance will be published shortly by the Rock-efeller Brothers Fund. 50 FOREIGN POLICY Florini parency's many applications are intrinsically linked. All reflect the grow-ing necessity and utility of regulation by revelation, a dynamic new alter-native to the coercive power of states. Yet precisely because transparency represents such a profound change--both in the distribution of power and the way in which it is exercised--its spread has provoked resistance from some quarters. To governments or corporations that are just doing what they have always done, the expectation that they should now report on their activities to outsiders can seem like an affront or an inconvenience, if not an outright threat. Government bureaucrats struggle to keep up with the endless reporting requirements of international environmental, human rights, and financial institutions. Corporations find themselves besieged by demands for information on their environmental and labor practices, often from nongovernmental organizations (NOOS) based in other parts of the world. International organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) face growing pres-sure to open up their decision-making processes to public review. All find the bright light of scrutiny at best uncomfortable, at worst para-lyzing. Many states, corporations, and organizations have instead retreated behind more traditional norms of privacy or sovereignty, insisting that although calls for transparency are all well and good, they should not be required to hew to its demands. Who is right? What information should be made available, when, and to whom? To answer these questions we need to look at how trans-parency began to catch on, how it works in practice, and why it is nec-essary to have a norm of transparency even today, when technology is rendering snooping ever more effective.
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Transnational and global environmental harm present substantial challenges to state-centered (territorial) modalities of accountability and responsibility. The globalization of environmental degradation has triggered regulatory responses at various jurisdictional scales. These governance efforts, featuring various articulations of state and/or private authority, have struggled to address so-called "accountability deficits" in global environmental politics. Yet, it has also become clear that accountability and responsibility norms forged in domestic regulatory contexts cannot simply be transposed across borders.
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The role of transnational partnerships in contemporary global environmental discourse raises larger questions of the legitimacy, effectiveness and accountability of networked governance. This article advances a conceptual framework for evaluating the legitimacy of partnership networks. Furthermore, it examines, in particular, the multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development announced at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002. Partnership networks have been branded as a new form of global governance with the potential to bridge multilateral norms and local action by drawing on a diverse number of actors in civil society, government and business. Does the rise of global partnerships imply a re-location and diffusion of authority from government to public–private ‘implementation networks’? Recent evaluations of the Johannesburg partnerships suggest that they can gain from a clearer linkage to existing institutions and multilateral agreements, measurable targets and timetables, more effective leadership, improved accountability, systematic review, reporting and monitoring mechanisms. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
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This article provides a focused review of the current literature on global environmental governance. In the first part, we differentiate between three usages of the term "global environmental governance," which we describe as analytical, programmatic, and critical. In the second part, we highlight three key characteristics of global environmental governance that make it different, in our view, from traditional international environmental politics: first, the emergence of new types of agency and of actors in addition to national governments, the traditional core actors in international environmental politics; second, the emergence of new mechanisms and institutions of global environmental governance that go beyond traditional forms of state-led, treaty-based regimes; and third, increasing segmentation and fragmentation of the overall governance system across levels and functional spheres. In the last section, we present an outlook on future study needs in this field.
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This article provides a first step towards a better theoretical and empirical knowledge of the emerging arena of transnational climate governance. The need for such a re-conceptualization emerges from the increasing relevance of non-state and transnational approaches towards climate change mitigation at a time when the intergovernmental negotiation process has to overcome substantial stalemate and the international arena becomes increasingly fragmented. Based on a brief discussion of the increasing trend towards transnationalization and functional segmentation of the global climate governance arena, we argue that a remapping of climate governance is necessary and needs to take into account different spheres of authority beyond the public and international. Hence, we provide a brief analysis of how the public/private divide has been conceptualized in Political Science and International Relations. Subsequently, we analyse the emerging transnational climate governance arena. Analytically, we distinguish between different manifestations of transnational climate governance on a continuum ranging from delegated and shared public–private authority to fully non-state and private responses to the climate problem. We suggest that our remapping exercise presented in this article can be a useful starting point for future research on the role and relevance of transnational approaches to the global climate crisis.
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Information disclosure is the most obvious manifestation of the transparency turn in global governance, as evident from a growing uptake of environmental disclosure practices by countries, corporations and international organizations. Any analytic examination of environmental disclosure measures needs to grasp their relation to wider configurations of political and economic authority. Highlighting these relations of power reveals that transparency measures do not necessarily overcome asymmetries in information access, and may even exacerbate them. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Castells’s influential work on the Information Age has hardly impacted on the environmental social sciences; and where it has, it has been mainly in terms of intrusions of global flows and networks in fragile environments. This paper explores to what extent and how environmental governance is changing under the conditions of the Information Age. On the waves of information and communication technologies and globalisation processes, a new informational mode of environmental governance—or informational governance—is emerging, in which environmental information gains transformative powers. Information generation, processing, transmission, and use become fundamental (re)sources of power and transformation in environmental reform. As illustrated by several examples, the conventional powers of (state) authority in environmental protection are partly replaced by informational resources, flows, and processes in new governance arrangements and networks. These new modes of informational governance not only point at innovative means of environmental reform, but also pose a series of more critical questions related to new power constellations, (information) access and democracy, and structural uncertainties following multiple knowledges. Hence, a new research agenda emerges for the environmental social sciences.
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Which SUVs are most likely to rollover? What cities have the unhealthiest drinking water? Which factories are the most dangerous polluters? What cereals are the most nutritious? In recent decades, governments have sought to provide answers to such critical questions through public disclosure to force manufacturers, water authorities, and others to improve their products and practices. Corporate financial disclosure, nutritional labels, and school report cards are examples of such targeted transparency policies. At best, they create a light-handed approach to governance that improves markets, enriches public discourse, and empowers citizens. But such policies are frequently ineffective or counterproductive. Based on an analysis of eighteen U.S. and international policies, Full Disclosure shows that information is often incomplete, incomprehensible, or irrelevant to consumers, investors, workers, and community residents. To be successful, transparency policies must be accurate, keep ahead of disclosers' efforts to find loopholes, and, above all, focus on the needs of ordinary citizens. © Archon Fung, Mary Graham, and David Weil 2007 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Article
During the 1990s, increasing transparency emerged as a key objective of those attempting to design the structures of contemporary global governance, touted as "the solution to everything from international financial crises to arms races to street crime".2 A wide array of social forces, non-governmental organisations, state and inter-state agencies have invoked the ideal of transparency in the making of the various structures of global governance. Transparency has featured in competing normative visions of global governance, taking on a range of contested meanings in differing contexts. Inquiry into the drive for increased transparency offers, then, a useful vantage point from which to consider the political processes associated with the making of the structures of contemporary global governance. This paper traces and accounts for the drive for increased transparency as it has been felt in global environmental governance (GEG). Scholars in International Studies (IS) concerned with GEG cast transparency as a norm that has become significant in transforming state behaviour. Increased transparency with regard to states' environmental performance assists in the implementation of inter-state environmental treaties. It is the contention of this paper that such a representation of the rise of transparency in GEG is at best narrow and partial and, at worst, misleading. The impact of transparency in GEG is not as clear as the existing research would suggest. Transparency has become significant not simply in terms of implementing inter-state environmental treaties, but is coming to permeate the structure of environmental governance in a broader and more pervasive manner. Transparency tends to prompt a belief in the desirability of a release of information concerning the environmental performance of institutionalised practices across both state and market institutions. Inquiry into this broader drive for transparency serves to illuminate important contested processes of change currently underway in the making of GEG.
Article
Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency. By Archon Fung, Mary Graham, and David Weil. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 282p. $28.00. One of the cornerstones of Woodrow Wilson's policy agenda, even before he formally sought the presidency, was transparency. To neutralize corporate misbehavior, for instance, he called for “turn[ing] the light” on corporations: “They don't like light. Turn it on so strong they can't stand it. Exposure is one of the best ways to whip them into line.” Although the authors of this superb work do not acknowledge Wilson's part in the evolutionary line of transparency policy, they do show by means of thorough and enlightening description and analysis the fruit finally borne of ideas like those Wilson espoused. Indeed, the authors tell a story of policy design that demonstrates the continuing value of careful legislative craftsmanship and policy refinement over time, based on feedback from administration and enforcement. It is a tale of effective legislative governance, particularly at the national level, that far too many American citizens, and even political leaders, believe is impossible or at least unlikely anymore.
Article
Within the context of broader debates on the potential of more open, inclusive and deliberative approaches to decision-making, this paper examines the influence that enhanced access to environmental information has had on the governance of industry in the UK. After considering the extent to which information on emissions from industrial sites is practicably accessible to stakeholders, it examines the strategies that the different actors have adopted as a response to the provision of enhanced access to environmental information. In so doing, it highlights the pros and cons of greater transparency and more open engagement from the perspective of regulators, industry, community and pressure groups. It then assesses the impacts of access to information, both on the governance networks through which the different actors interact in an attempt to influence the emissions of the chemicals sector and on the environmental outcomes associated with these networks. It concludes that the provision of access to information has been associated with the emergence of new forms of engagement between regulators, industry and stakeholder groups and that this has coincided with (but has not been the main cause of) dramatic improvements in the environmental performance of the associated firms. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Article
Scholars and practitioners alike have stressed the important role of transparency in promoting international regime compliance and effectiveness. Yet many regimes fail to create high levels of transparency: governments and nongovernmental actors regularly fail to monitor or report on their own behavior, the behavior of other actors, or the state of the problem these regimes seek to resolve. If more transparency often, if not always, contributes to regime effectiveness, then identifying the sources of transparency becomes an important research task. Regime transparency depends upon both the demand for information and the supply of information. Specifically, regimes can seek “effectiveness-oriented” information to assess whether regime members are collectively achieving regime goals or “compliance-oriented” information to assess whether particular actors are individually fulfilling regime commitments. The incentives and capacities that relevant actors—whether governments, nongovernmental organizations, or corporate actors—have to provide such information depend on whether the regime's information system is structured around self-reporting, other-reporting, or problem-reporting. Although many of these factors are determined by characteristics of the actors involved or the structure of the problem, regimes can increase transparency by enhancing the incentives and capacity actors have to contribute to a particular regime's transparency.
Article
Although transparency is a key concept in the social sciences, it remains an understudied phenomenon in global environmental governance. This paper analyzes effectiveness of ‘governance by transparency’ or governance by information disclosure as a key innovation in global environmental and risk governance. Information disclosure is central to current efforts to govern biosafety or safe trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Through analyzing the dynamics of GMO-related information disclosure to the global Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), I argue that the originally intended normative and procedural aims of disclosure in this case—to facilitate a GMO-importing country’s right to know and right to choose prior to trade in GMOs—are not yet being realized, partly because the burden of BCH disclosure currently rests, ironically, on importing countries. As a result, BCH disclosure may even have market-facilitating rather than originally intended market-regulating effects with regard to GMO trade, turning on its head the intended aims of governance by disclosure.
Article
A commentary on Gupta and Mason. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
Although transparency is a key concept of our times, it remains a relatively understudied phenomenon in global environmental politics. The link between transparency and accountable, legitimate and effective governance is assumed, yet the nature and workings of this link require further scrutiny. Transparency via information disclosure is increasingly at the heart of a number of global environmental governance initiatives, termed "governance-by-disclosure" here. The article identifies two assumptions that underpin such governance-by-disclosure initiatives, and calls for comparative analysis of the workings of such assumptions in practice, as a way to illuminate the nature and implications of a transparency turn in global environmental governance and its link to accountable, legitimate and effective governance. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
Global environmental governance rests on a set of norms best characterized by the label "liberal environmentalism." The 1992 Earth Summit catalyzed the process of institutionalizing these norms, which predicate environmental pro tection on the promotion and maintenance of a liberal economic order. To support this claim, this article identifies the specific norms institutionalized since Rio that undergird international environmental treaties, policies and programs. It also explains why a shift toward liberal environmentalism occurred from earlier, very different, bases of environmental governance. The implications of this shift are then outlined, with examples drawn from responses to climate change, forest protection and use, and biosafety. The article is not an endorsement of liberal environmentalism. Rather, it shows that institutions that have developed in response to global environmental problems support particular kinds of values and goals, with important implications for the constraints and opportunities to combat the world's most serious environmental problems. Copyright (c) 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies removed information from their web sites that they feared could invite attacks on critical public and private infrastructure. Accordingly, the benefits and costs of environmental information disclosure programs have come under increasing scrutiny. This article describes a framework for examining these benefits and costs and illustrates the framework through brief case studies of two information disclosure programs: risk management planning and materials accounting. The article outlines what we know and still need to find out about information disclosure programs in order to appropriately balance benefits and costs.
Article
Recent years have seen a number of cases of 'accidental' or 'unintentional' releases of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that were not approved for human consumption or in some cases even for commercial planting. The environmental, economic, and social implications of the release of unapproved varieties of GMOs are potentially significant. The agricultural input industry has recently embraced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting and some of its major players are participants in the UN's Global Compact. While CSR and the Global Compact encourage internalization of environmental costs and application of the precautionary principle amongst firms, in the case of illegal GMO releases these measures have proven extremely weak. In the case of illegal GMO releases, external, state-based regulation which places liability squarely on firms is likely to be much more successful as a means to prevent future occurrences of this problem.
The End of Secrecy The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World Making Transparency Work 8 • Transparency in Global Environmental Governance 13 Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency
  • Florini
  • Ann
Florini, Ann. 1998. The End of Secrecy. Foreign Policy 111 (Summer): 50–63. ———, ed. 2007. The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World. New York: Columbia University Press. ———. 2008. Making Transparency Work. Global Environmental Politics 8 (2): 14–16. 8 • Transparency in Global Environmental Governance 13. Fung et al. 2007. rFung, Archon, Mary Graham, and David Weil. 2007. Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency. New York: Cambridge University Press
The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy or Peace
  • Kristen Lord
Lord, Kristen. 2006. The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy or Peace. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
The Marketization of Environmental Governance: Manifestations and Implications. In The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance: Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability
  • Peter Newell
Newell, Peter. 2008. The Marketization of Environmental Governance: Manifestations and Implications. In The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance: Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability, edited by Jacob Park, Ken Conca and Matthias Finger, 77–95. London and New York: Routledge.