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Making sense of accountability in Baltic agro-environmental governance: the case of Denmark’s green growth strategy

Agro-environmental governance associated with the issue of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea Region relies on accountability as a central norm to secure legitimacy of transnational cooperation. However, owing to the coexistence of different traditions of governance the implementation of nutrient reduction targets requires negotiation between competing definitions of accountability.

Neil Powell, Rasmus Kløcker Larsen / Published on 13 November 2012

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Larsen, R.K., and N. Powell (2012). Making Sense of Accountability in Baltic Agro-Environmental Governance: The Case of Denmark's Green Growth Strategy. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. Version of record first published: 13 Nov 2012.

This paper presents results from an empirical analysis of the implementability of nutrient reduction targets in one riparian state, namely Denmark, focusing on the government’s Green Growth Strategy. It charts the policy adaptation route to explore how stakeholders mobilise claims within different sense-making perspectives on governance in order to seek to keep each other accountable. Based on the findings, an analytical framework is derived which helps identify where professionals in agro-environmental governance may more explicitly address the subtle ways in which accountability is created and undermined through different modes of justification in spaces of ambiguity between competing governance traditions.

In relation to the wider accountability literature, it is demonstrated how it is possible to apply theory and methods from the most recent multi-stakeholder school in natural resource governance research to broaden the work within social and environmental accounting to focus more explicitly on the totality of stakeholder interactions rather than single organisations.

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