Regulatory Reform of the Finnish Environmental Policy. Making the EIA-law, CO2.taxation and voluntary agreements

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Title: Regulatory Reform of the Finnish Environmental Policy. Making the EIA-law, CO2.taxation and voluntary agreements
Author: Sairinen, Rauno
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Policy
Date: 2000-03-25
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Abstract: During last two decades, a regulatory reform has been taking place in European environmental policy. This means that several kinds of new policy instruments, such as economic instruments, new planning tools and voluntary approaches, have been taken into use. In this study, there is asked how the regulatory reform has emerged in Finland. How the new instruments have been choosed, designed and used and what kind of political, administrative and ideological factors have effected the development of these instruments? The research task is divided into four more specific research tasks: 1) The design of the theoretical framework combines Linder and Peters' policy instrument choice model, Jänicke's policy explanation model, Foucault's governmentality theory and concepts of policy cultures. In addition, the approach of environmental governmentality is developed and applied to the historical changes in environmental strategies. The concept of environmental governmentality includes four dimensions: institutional relations, political and administrative cultures, power/knowledge relations, and normalisation and intensification effects. 2) Analysis of the historical development of Finnish environmental governing and policy style provides background information about the national institutional settings and policy cultures in order to understand the role of the new policy instruments in the Finnish environmental policy during last two decades. Here, Finnish environmental policy divides into consensual pollution policies and conflicting nature conservation. 3) The case studies concern the drafting of the EIA-law in 1982-1994; the formation of the CO2-tax policy in 1989-1996; and the usage of the voluntary environmental agreements in Finland 1987-1999. 4) In the conclusive parts of the research there is made general interpretations about the features of regulatory reforms and the governmentality ‘power effects' in Finland. The adopting of the new policy instruments has not an easy policy process in Finland. The new policy instruments have been used and developed not because of common strategies or governmentality structures, but because of the desire to experiment (voluntary agreements), situational power relations (carbon taxation) or international pressures (EIA-law). The dominating environmental governmentality has been mainly oriented towards the traditional legal regulation. During the 1990s, the new instruments have anyway changed the Finnish system a lot. It can be argued that the experiences have normalised the regulatory reform. Simultaneously, one basic feature of modern environmental governing has been its intensification: the governing concerns the lives of individual citizens and business life wider and deeper.
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