50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
This paper provides a review of environmental governance in both theoretical and empirical fields as a means of promoting our knowledge and capacity for achieving environmental sustainability. The author begins with an academic presentation from six perspectives that are considered as the critical principles in implement process of environmental governance, and identifies six principles by searching the definitions, criterions, evaluations and critics from textbooks and academic journal coverage from 1990s to now. These principles include Accountability, Participation, Rule of law, Transparency, Effectiveness and efficiency, Decentralized Management. This section is followed by an empirical analysis of the selective review of plans, policy documents and research projects of environmental policy-making and implementing in Sweden's context during the last 20 years, corresponding to the essential elements presented in former academic review. Basing on both two reviews, the paper concludes the inter-corresponds and isolations between theoretical and practical area, targeting on promoting existing theories by learning lessons from the empirical experience in Sweden' environmental governance, and advancing the implemental effectiveness by absorbing from theories. Ultimately, with a goal of narrowing the gaps and negligence it has now, the author would like to propose some suggesting directions with potential values in stimulating to develop, implement and inspect environmental strategies and policies in both academic research and empirical activities.