Public regulation and environment. Ecological questions economic answers

Public regulation and environment. Ecological questions economic answers

Yannick Rumpala
March 2003 - L'Harmattan - Political Logics collection 374 pages

environmental regulation

What happens to concerns about the environment when they are taken care of by public authorities? The turn of the 1980s and 1990s marked in France an apparent widening of the audience for these concerns, well beyond the small groups where ecological themes could previously seem confined. The effects of this situation are also perceptible in the activity of the State: the ministerial structures in charge of the environment tend to benefit from a certain reinforcement and government action then reserves a large place for this field of intervention. A closer examination, however, reveals the strong ambivalence that can be seen in the identifiable developments. Admittedly, the period seems favorable to the promotion of ecological considerations in state action. But at the same time, economic considerations and imperatives seem to play an increasing role in the development of public decisions concerning the environment. It is on the interaction of these dynamics that we must therefore return to fully understand the positions of state bodies when they address environmental issues. This allows a better understanding of the action programs they develop, and the role they play in the collective management of the natural substrate of human activities. Three areas (household waste, landscapes, and road transport) are more particularly studied here in order to highlight and analyze the arrangements through which the treatment of these questions passes, in particular under the effect of economic logic.

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