Patterns of policy dismantling and de-regulation in an era of economic austerity – ‘CONSENSUS’

One of the main challenges for sustainable development is how to integrate economic, environmental and social objectives. By exploring historical patterns of deregulation, CONSENSUS (Confronting Social and Environmental Sustainability with Economic Pressure: Balancing Trade-offs by Policy Dismantling?), is aiming to investigate how and to what extent conflicts between these objectives are addressed in processes of policy dismantling. In particular, how do countries respond to these challenges under different levels of economic pressure?

CONSENSUS is carrying out a systematic longitudinal comparison across 25 OECD countries, over the period 1975-2005, on how priority areas for sustainable development – climate change, public health, natural resource management, biodiversity and poverty and social exclusion (such as social transfer and social assistance programmes) – have been shaped by factors (e.g. global competition, international harmonization of standards, veto players, political parties and macro-economic austerity pressure) which can trigger policy dismantling.

People involved:
John Turnpenny

Duration: 2008 – 2011
Funding: European Commission FP7