Avoidance of conflicts and trade-offs: A challenge for the policy integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Ryan Wong, Jeroen van der Heijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda compels nations to face challenges, especially interministerial conflicts, in policy integration. This article seeks to understand whether and how conflict avoidance may hamper the implementation of the SDG agenda. Building on 56 interviews with policymakers and bureaucrats in Finland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, we explore how avoidance behaviours preclude the conflicts that are necessary for achieving integration. The findings suggest that avoided conflicts tend to be long-standing issues related to environmental protection. We identify four factors that contribute to conflict avoidance: The issues for deliberation are too political, the actors know too little or too much about the issues, the deliberation is too abstract, and the bar for consensus is too high. These factors filter out many impactful conflicts for deliberation, which partly explains why integration regimes have not produced transformational changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainable Development
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

@article{142c0e8aa59a41c2b73a6a8667bb2c4a,
title = "Avoidance of conflicts and trade-offs: A challenge for the policy integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals",
abstract = "The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda compels nations to face challenges, especially interministerial conflicts, in policy integration. This article seeks to understand whether and how conflict avoidance may hamper the implementation of the SDG agenda. Building on 56 interviews with policymakers and bureaucrats in Finland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, we explore how avoidance behaviours preclude the conflicts that are necessary for achieving integration. The findings suggest that avoided conflicts tend to be long-standing issues related to environmental protection. We identify four factors that contribute to conflict avoidance: The issues for deliberation are too political, the actors know too little or too much about the issues, the deliberation is too abstract, and the bar for consensus is too high. These factors filter out many impactful conflicts for deliberation, which partly explains why integration regimes have not produced transformational changes.",
author = "Ryan Wong and {van der Heijden}, Jeroen",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1002/sd.1944",
language = "English",
journal = "Sustainable Development",
issn = "0968-0802",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",

}

Avoidance of conflicts and trade-offs: A challenge for the policy integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. / Wong, Ryan; van der Heijden, Jeroen.

In: Sustainable Development, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Avoidance of conflicts and trade-offs: A challenge for the policy integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

AU - Wong, Ryan

AU - van der Heijden, Jeroen

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda compels nations to face challenges, especially interministerial conflicts, in policy integration. This article seeks to understand whether and how conflict avoidance may hamper the implementation of the SDG agenda. Building on 56 interviews with policymakers and bureaucrats in Finland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, we explore how avoidance behaviours preclude the conflicts that are necessary for achieving integration. The findings suggest that avoided conflicts tend to be long-standing issues related to environmental protection. We identify four factors that contribute to conflict avoidance: The issues for deliberation are too political, the actors know too little or too much about the issues, the deliberation is too abstract, and the bar for consensus is too high. These factors filter out many impactful conflicts for deliberation, which partly explains why integration regimes have not produced transformational changes.

AB - The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda compels nations to face challenges, especially interministerial conflicts, in policy integration. This article seeks to understand whether and how conflict avoidance may hamper the implementation of the SDG agenda. Building on 56 interviews with policymakers and bureaucrats in Finland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, we explore how avoidance behaviours preclude the conflicts that are necessary for achieving integration. The findings suggest that avoided conflicts tend to be long-standing issues related to environmental protection. We identify four factors that contribute to conflict avoidance: The issues for deliberation are too political, the actors know too little or too much about the issues, the deliberation is too abstract, and the bar for consensus is too high. These factors filter out many impactful conflicts for deliberation, which partly explains why integration regimes have not produced transformational changes.

UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85063801860&origin=inward

U2 - 10.1002/sd.1944

DO - 10.1002/sd.1944

M3 - Article

JO - Sustainable Development

JF - Sustainable Development

SN - 0968-0802

ER -