Pluralism by the Rules Conflict and Cooperation in Environmental Regulation

by Edward P. Weber

Part of the American Governance and Public Policy series Series

Pluralism by the Rules Conflict and Cooperation in Environmental Regulation Synopsis

Despite America's pluralistic, fragmented, and generally adversarial political culture, participants in pollution control politics have begun to collaborate to reduce the high costs of developing, implementing, and enforcing regulations. Edward P. Weber uses examples from this traditionally combative policy arena to propose a new model for regulation, pluralism by the rules, a structured collaborative format that can achieve more effective results at lower costs than typically come from antagonistic approaches. Weber cites the complexity and high implementation costs of environmental policy as strong but insufficient incentives for collaboration. He shows that cooperation becomes possible when opposing sides agree to follow specific rules that include formal binding agreements about enforcement, commitment to the process by political and bureaucratic leaders, and the ensured access and accountability of all parties involved. Such rules establish trust, create assurances that agreements will be enforced, and reduce the perceived risks of collaboration. Through case studies dealing with acid rain, reformulated gasoline, and oil refinery pollution control, Weber demonstrates the potential of collaboration for realizing a cleaner environment, lower compliance costs, and more effective enforcement. Challenging the prevailing view that endless conflict in policymaking is inevitable, Pluralism by the Rules establishes a theoretical framework for restructuring the regulatory process.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780878406722
Publication date: 1st January 1998
Author: Edward P. Weber
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 328 pages
Categories: Political structure & processes, The environment,

About Edward P. Weber

Edward P. Weber is an associate professor of political science at Washington State University, and is Director of the Thomas S. Foley Public Policy Institute.

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