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Addressing “Wicked Problems” through Governance for Sustainable Development—A Comparative Analysis of National Mineral Policy Approaches in the European Union

Institute for Managing Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, Building D1, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101830
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Mining, Minerals and Energy Industries)
The achievement of sustainable development (SD) in the supply of minerals poses significant challenges for governments and public administrations on all levels, because ensuring a sustainable supply constitutes a “wicked” problem that has no clear set of alternative solutions due to its social, institutional and scientific complexities. This paper explores how this problem is addressed through “governance for SD” principles (horizontal policy integration and participation; long-term vision/short-term action; and reflexivity and learning) in the design and delivery of national mineral policy strategies (NMS) in five EU Member States (Austria, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Sweden). Following a grounded theory approach on data collected through document analysis and complementary qualitative interviews, the author identified several analytical categories for the selected governance for SD’ principles. Although no “one-size-fits-all” recipe for best practice on governance for SD exists in the five NMS, Finland, Portugal and Sweden meet high standards: These NMS display practical examples of governance for SD integration and, thus, lay the foundations for achieving policy outcomes in the sectoral policy strategies of the mineral supply. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development; governance; mineral policy; policy strategy; wicked problems sustainable development; governance; mineral policy; policy strategy; wicked problems
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Endl, A. Addressing “Wicked Problems” through Governance for Sustainable Development—A Comparative Analysis of National Mineral Policy Approaches in the European Union. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1830.

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