Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor William D. Coleman
This dissertation examines the performance of policy makers in the environmental sector. It is suggested that policy makers perform at a high level when they are capable of making changes in existing policies. Specifically, policy makers must be able to expand the reach of their country's environmental policy to the agricultural sector and increase the intrusiveness as well as the comprehensiveness of policy instruments to prevent the intensification of farming from causing serious damage to the environment. When performing at a high level, however, policy makers should be able to achieve these policy changes without endangering the economic viability of agriculture. The general performance of policy makers was found to be higher than expected. It is argued in this dissertation, however, that France performed at a higher level than the United States which itself performed at a higher level than Canada. Variations in institutional arrangements explain these differences. In France, the European Union empowered environmental actors pressing for the adoption of intrusive environmental regulations for the agricultural sector. But this pressure was mediated by a corporatist policy network in a manner that minimized the cost of the policy to farmers. In contrast, the pressure for the adoption of stringent environmental regulations in the United States entered a federal arrangement in which state-civil society relations were regulated by pluralist policy networks. This enabled swift policy changes that conflicted with the interests of farmers in several states. Nevertheless, the American federal setting worked better than that of Canada where the central government failed to adopt a significant environmental policy for the agricultural sector and where environmental standards from one province to the next vary enormously.
Montpetit, Eric, "Policy making performance, policy change, and political institutions: The formulation of an environmental policy for the agricultural sector in France, the United States and Canada" (1999). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1817.