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Hardcover | Out of Print | 384 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 3 figures, 13 tables | October 2011 | ISBN: 9780262016506
Paperback | $6.75 Short | £5.95 | 384 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 3 figures, 13 tables | October 2011 | ISBN: 9780262516426
eBook | $19.00 Short | October 2011 | ISBN: 9780262299169
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Governing the Air

The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction


Governing the Air looks at the regulation of air pollution not as a static procedure of enactment and agreement but as a dynamic process that reflects the shifting interrelationships of science, policy, and citizens. Taking transboundary air pollution in Europe as its empirical focus, the book not only assesses the particular regulation strategies that have evolved to govern European air, but also offers theoretical insights into dynamics of social order, political negotiation, and scientific practices. These dynamics are of pivotal concern today, in light of emerging international governance problems related to climate change. The contributors, all prominent social scientists specializing in international environmental governance, review earlier findings, analyze the current situation, and discuss future directions for both empirical and theoretical work.

The chapters discuss the institutional dimensions of international efforts to combat air pollution, examining the effectiveness of CLRTAP (Convention for Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution) and the political complexity of the European Union; offer a broad overview and detailed case studies of the roles of science, expertise, and learning; and examine the “missing link” in air pollution policies: citizen involvement.

Changing political conditions, evolving scientific knowledge, and the need for citizen engagement offer significant challenges for air pollution policy making. By focusing on process rather than product, learning rather than knowledge, and strategies rather than interests, this book gives a nuanced view of how air pollution is made governable.

About the Editors

Rolf Lidskog is Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at Örebro University, Sweden.

Göran Sundqvist is Professor of Science, Technology, and Culture at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Table of Contents

  • Governing the Air
  • Governing the Air
  • The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction
  • edited by Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • ©
  • 2011
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • For information about special quantity discounts, please email special_sales@mitpress
  • This book was set in Sabon by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Governing the air : the dynamics of science, policy, and citizen interaction / edited by Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist.
  •  p. cm. — (Politics, science, and the environment)
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01650-6 (hardcover : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-262-51642-6 (pbk. : alk. paper)
  • 1. Air quality management—Government policy—Europe. 2. Air—Pollution—Europe—Prevention—International cooperation. 3. Air—Pollution—Europe—Prevention—Citizen participation. 4. Air quality—Political aspects—Europe. 5. International relations—Europe. I. Lidskog, Rolf. II. Sundqvist, Göran.
  • TD883.7.E85G68 2012
  • 363.739′2561094—dc22
  •  2011010006
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contributors xi
  • 1 Transboundary Air Pollution Policy in Transition 1
  • Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist
  • I Policy and Institutions 
  • 2 The Improving Effectiveness of CLRTAP:
  • Due to a Clever Design? 39
  • Jørgen Wettestad
  • 3 Institutional Linkages and European Air Pollution Politics 61
  • Henrik Selin and Stacy D. VanDeveer
  • 4 Transboundary Science for Transnational Air Pollution Policies in Europe 93
  • Bernd Siebenhüner
  • II Expertise and Learning 
  • 5 Organized Science, Usable Knowledge, and Multilateral Environmental Governance 125
  • Peter M. Haas and Casey Stevens
  • 6 Scientists Learn Not Only Science but Also Diplomacy:
  • Learning Processes in the European Transboundary Air Pollution Regime 163
  • Atsushi Ishii
  • 7 Fewer Boundaries and Less Certainty:
  • The Role of Experts in European Air Policy 195
  • Göran Sundqvist
  • 8 Co-producing Policy-Relevant Science and Science-Based Policy:
  • The Case of Regulating Ground-Level Ozone 223
  • Rolf Lidskog and Håkan Pleijel
  • III Citizens and Involvement 
  • 9 Citizen Engagement with the Politics of Air Quality:
  • Lessons for Social Theory, Science Studies, and Environmental Sociology 253
  • Steven Yearley
  • 10 Framing Air Pollution and Health Problems:
  • How to Include Stakeholder Perspectives? 273
  • Arthur Petersen, Leendert van Bree, and Willemijn Tuinstra
  • 11 Governance of Air Quality and Stakeholder Engagement:
  • Lessons and Experience from International Cases 293
  • John Forrester, Kevin Hicks, Johan Kuylenstierna, Julie Simon, Carolyn Snell, Michael J. Chadwick, Dieter Schwela, and Lisa Emberson
  • IV Environmental Governance and Research 
  • 12 Science–Policy–Citizen Dynamics in International Environmental Governance 323
  • Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist
  • Index 361


Governing the Air is a much welcomed and needed book within the area of risk governance and management. Arguably the popularity of transboundary air pollution studies peaked in the 1980s and early 1990s, after which the field became eclipsed by discussions surrounding climate change. With this book, professors Lidskog and Sundqvist and their stellar cast of authors have once again put transboundary air pollution studies into the limelight. This is a must-read book for policy makers, academics, and others active in the air pollution debate of the present day.”
Ragnar E. Löfstedt, Professor of Risk Management and the Director of King’s Centre for Risk Management, King's College London
“This is a book about air quality, but also the ways in which environmental governance necessitates the negotiation and framing of social, scientific, and natural boundaries. The authors provide a compelling blend of empirical insight and theoretical sophistication--spiced throughout with innovative reflections on practice. Governing the Air makes a powerful case for the conceptual, political, and practical significance of high-quality social science.”
Alan Irwin, Copenhagen Business School