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Title: Governance for a surprising world
Contributor(s): Marshall, Graham R  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: Investment in the robustness of Australia's governance systems is required if they are to cope with an increasingly uncertain and surprising world. Attempts to transform these systems in response to the challenges faced since the 1970s have been constrained by persistent modernist beliefs encouraging a confidence in the predictability of social–ecological systems that can rarely be justified nowadays. A case is made in this chapter for making governance systems more robust by transforming them towards polycentric systems (i.e. comprising multiple centres and levels of decision-making that retain substantive autonomy from one another). The role of the principle of subsidiarity in guiding this transformation is highlighted. Although vested interests and "locked-in" modernist beliefs pose formidable obstacles to this transformation, the time is long gone when resistance could plausibly be justified by the adage, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Politicians and officials need to begin experimenting with polycentric arrangements of such scale and scope that the risks are affordable to them, the experiences gained provide the confidence and public trust they require for more ambitious experiments and the needed transformation can gain momentum. Further, we to challenge outdated belief systems by inspiring the public imagination with ideas based on the best science available for the world we inhabit today.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Resilience and Transformation: Preparing Australia for Uncertain Futures, p. 49-57
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISBN: 9780643098121
Field of Research (FOR): 140205 Environment and Resource Economics
050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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