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3 - Smart Mixes and the Challenge of Complexity

from Part I - Conceptual Approaches to Smart Mixes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2019

Judith van Erp
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Michael Faure
Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
André Nollkaemper
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Niels Philipsen
Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
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The idea of improving the performance of environmental policies by combining various instruments and approaches in a smart way is attractive. However, from a theoretical perspective, the idea of optimal mixes seems problematic. This chapter starts from the assumption that governance fields (i.e. the multiple institutions, both public and private, that are operating within a given policy arena across multiple levels) can be best described as complex systems, and consequently develops an argument about the usefulness of complexity sciences in studying smart policy mixes. The area of climate change governance after the Paris Agreement serves as our empirical illustration.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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