Environmental Innovation Strategies

Schweizer, R., Dupuis, J. and de Buren, G. 2016. Environmental innovation strategies: When and why NGOs go beyond public regulations. Environmental Politics, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp.899-920.

The concept of environmental innovation strategies (EIS) is introduced and discussed. The notion refers to the conduct by which non-governmental organisations (NGOs) act as policy entrepreneurs seeking to address environmental issues by going beyond the provisions of public regulations. Environmental innovation is understood as the product of a process of social interactions between heterogeneous types of actors, including NGOs. Three social mechanisms are introduced in order to capture the conditions enabling and motivating NGOs to pursue EIS, as well as the politics through which EIS are produced. These mechanisms are then discussed in the light of two in-depth case studies in Indonesia and Switzerland. The findings highlight the institutional frustration and mix of concerns that push NGOs to engage in EIS, as well as the non-spontaneous nature of environmental innovations. Innovation represents, in the end, a game of power that should be analysed as such.

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