Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization

This article presents the conceptual revisions needed to extend the new institutional approach to environmental governance from its current local and international domains of application to all governance solutions, including national environmental and natural resource use policies and multi-level governance solutions that are increasingly used to address global environmental change. The article suggests that environmental governance is best understood as the establishment, reaffirmation or change of institutions to resolve conflicts over environmental resources. It also explains why the choice of these institutions is a matter of social justice rather than of efficiency. The article suggests a way to understand formal and state-centered governance solutions as forms of collective ownership not unlike common property. The article demonstrates how institutional analysis can gain resolution by looking at the functional and structural tiers, organization of governance functions, and formulation of key institutional rules as key aspects of the design of governance institutions.

Paavola J (2007) , Ecological Economics, 63, pp.93-103.