Citizens of industrialized countries largely share a sense that
national and international governance is inadequate, believing not only
that public authorities are incapable of making the right policy
decisions, but also that the entire network of state and civil society
actors responsible for the discussion, negotiation, and implementation
of policy choices is untrustworthy.
Using agro-environmental policy development in France, the United
States, and Canada as case studies, Eric Montpetit sets out to
investigate the validity of this distrust through careful attention to
the performance of the relevant policy networks. He concludes that
distrust in policy networks is, for the most part, misplaced because
high levels of performance by policy networks are more common than many
political analysts and citizens expect. Opposing the tenets of state
retrenchment, his study reveals that providing participation in
governance to resourceful interest groups and strong government
bureaucracies is an essential component of sound environmental policies
A timely and crucial contribution to the good governance debate,
this book should be required reading for policy makers and politicians,
as well as students and scholars of public policy, political science,
environmental studies, and government.
Eric Montpetit is with the Departement de science politique at the Universite de Montreal.
Tables Acknowledgments Abbreviations 1. Introduction 2. Assessing Policy-Making Performance 3. Networks and Performance 4. France: A Shift from Low- to High-Level Performance 5. The United States: Performance in the Absence of Intergovernmental Coordination 6. Canada: Stalled at a Low Performance Level 7. Misplaced Distrust Notes Bibliography Index