Under the term "new modes of governance", policy makers in Europe are striving for less intrusive means of achieving policy goals. As regards the implementation in forest policy-making, the concept of "National Forest Programmes" (NFPs) has been recognized as a promising tool. So far, neither comparative analyses nor systematic evaluations of the effectiveness of these practices have been carried out. The main objective of the GoFOR project is to evaluate new modes of governance as a basis for policy relevant conclusions and recommendations in order to safeguard sustainable forest management in Europe. Based on theoretical arguments and empirical evidence, the project will first elaborate an enlarged set of criteria that operationalise the concept of "new modes of governance" and its constituting elements (i.e., public participation, inter-sectoral and multi-level co-ordination, adaptive and iterative policy-making and the use of accountable expertise). The project will then give a comprehensive overview of new modes of governance. For that, current and evolving practices of governance (both in forestry and in "adjacent" sectors) will be analysed in a cross-national comparative research design with case studies coming from ten European countries. The countries are to be chosen, first, on the basis of the specific and complementary theoretical expertise of the partners involved and, second, by paying attention to a high heterogeneity in country-specific conditions. These cross-national and cross-sectoral comparisons which will draw on qualitative as well as quantitative data will allow the identification of "best practices" and a critical evaluation of the transferability to other sectoral or national contexts in order to foster mutual learning processes. Results will provide scientific support for the development, implementation, as well as evaluation of modern policy approaches to further promote sustainable forestry and rural development.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project