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The Impact of Regime Transition on the Environmental Protection of Common Property: Lessons Learned from Rapid Transition to Democracy and Market Economy in the Baltics

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pedersen, Karin Hilmer
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2119
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
environmental policy
transitional economics
institutional change--comparative analysis
foreign aid
Abstract: "The proposed paper will first demonstrate how policy choices in regime transformation (development of democracy and market institutions) have had a spill over effect on policy choices in the environmental sphere indicating the importance of different policy cultures and standard operating procedures. Secondly, it discusses the effectiveness of environmental policy choice in the context of regime transformation with unstable property rights and rapid administrative and legal changes. Thirdly, it suggests possible impacts on future environmental policy of a more general nature. "The outset will be a theoretical discussion on the efficiency of different policy instruments with regard to governmental arrangements (administration), market institutions and civic values. The hypothesis being that policy instruments effecting civic values in the form of information and economic support in unstable political environments will have a more positive impact on environmental behaviour, although not neglecting the importance of strict environmental regulation. "The empirical background is a comparison of agri-environmental policies in the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The environmental problem being nutrient leaching from diffuse sources into common property: ground and surface waters. The three countries being part of the same regime thus facing a similar transition from authoritarian soviet style regulation and planned economy to a liberal and democratic market style have chosen very different ways to solve the problem of diffuse leaching from agricultural production. This similarity in the outset and differences in the outcome make the three cases interesting for more general considerations on the influence of regime transformation on environmental protection. The impact of foreign donors, especially Denmark, will be taken into consideration in the discussion on future development in the region. "The paper is written on the background of research conducted in the period 1994-1999. It builds on studies of the relevant theoretical literature together with studies of written documents and personal fieldwork including interviews in the Baltic countries."

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