An institutional framework for analysis of voluntary policy: The case of voluntary environmental agreements in Kita Kyushu, Japan

Eric W. Welch, Akira Hibiki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the effect of social, economic and political conditions on the selection and effectiveness of voluntary policy in Japan. Borrowing from two sets of literature, the paper develops a two-dimensional framework for analysis of voluntary policy that helps clarify the contextual factors that determine voluntary policy choice and effectiveness. The establishment of voluntary agreements in Japan are then investigated and the specific experiences of one Japanese city's experience, Kita Kyushu. Findings show that insufficient national and local statutory regulations, local citizen pressure resulting from significant pollution problems, city-controlled non-regulatory resources, and local level regulatory power determined Kita Kyushu's policy choice and the resulting effectiveness of voluntary environmental agreements. Findings then indicate where the Japanese experience falls within the framework. The usefulness of the framework for analysis and practice is then reinforced, and challenges for some of the basic assumptions of current theory are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-543
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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