WISERD was present at the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) 12th International Conference at Ersta Skondal University College, Stockholm, Sweden. This year the conference theme was ‘The Third Sector in Transition: Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion’. The WISERD stall did brisk business attracting interest from the many conference-goers drawn from all over the world, ranging from senior academics, students, policy-makers to members of third sector organisations.
WISERD co-Director Prof Paul Chaney was Session Organiser for the panel “Civil Society and Environmental activism”. Presentations included original analysis of the environmental movements in Vietnam and Nepal.
Prof Paul Chaney’s new paper examines the environmental movements in Wales and is to be published in the leading international journal Environmental Policy and Governance. It is entitled “Civil Society Organizations’ Experiences of Participative Environmental Mainstreaming: A Political Systems Perspective of a Regional European Polity”.
The paper focuses on what is termed “environmental policy integration” (EPI). In short, this is concerned with the role civil society organizations play in ensuring that government embeds environmental concerns in all aspects of policy-making. This is important not only to safeguarding the environment for present and future generations but is something required by international laws and treaties. The study findings reveal how CSOs’ attempts to put the environment at the heart of policy are shaped by a range of factors, in particular electoral and party politics.
The significance of the research can be summed up as:
1. Revealing the myriad issues and challenges facing today’s CSOs,
2. Highlighting the need for civil society organisations to employ adaptive techniques when engaging policy-makers and;
3. Underlining how attempts to foster civil society participation in environmental policy-making are strongly shaped by government structures and ways of working. These can sometimes frustrate attempts to ensure governments address environmental concerns.