The Citizen is Willing, But Society Won't Deliver: The Problem of Institutional Roadblocks

By Norman Myers, Jennifer Kent on November 27, 2008
Government systems are often blighted by "institutional roadblocks" (IRs).These phenomena are profound and pervasive, and growing worse in many sectors. They apply especially to environmental problems, stemming as they often do from a lack of integration—whether economic, political or otherwise—among our principal institutions of governance. Plainly the environmental cause is failing. After decades of efforts by governments, businesses, media and others—and despite many success stories—we are losing ground faster than ever. Problems proliferate, leaving us trying to push ever-larger rocks up ever-steeper hills. How can we get ahead of the game and prevent problems from becoming problems in the first place? A key answer is to tackle the IRs.

This book looks at why institutional systems prove singularly unsystematic, and why they often fail in spectacular fashion as concerns the environment. Why should this be so? What can we do about it? What are some success stories to point the way ahead?

Publication details

IISD, Norman Myers, Jennifer Kent, 2008