Environmental Policy Evaluation and the Prospects for Public Learning

Lawrence Susskind and Alexis Schulman

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744671
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Environmental Policy Evaluation and the Prospects for Public Learning


This article reviews conventional approaches to environmental policy evaluation, outlines their presumed relevance to policy making and implementation, and points out the main reasons why they have been subject to challenge. It contrasts the conventional approach to environmental policy evaluation—which presumes the identity of the policy analyst is unimportant—with the “collaborative approach,” which emphasizes the need to engage relevant stakeholders (i.e., the users of policy analyses and those affected by them) in the process of environmental policy evaluation. The article also describes the emergence of “adaptive” approaches to resource management and sustainable development, and explains why they represent an important shift away from emphasizing “success” and “failure” in environmental policy making and toward ongoing public learning for purposes of improvement.

Keywords: environmental policy; policy making; collaborative approach; adaptive approach; resource management

Article.  6589 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »