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Political Science Environmental Policy

Misplaced Distrust

Policy Networks and the Environment in France, the United States, and Canada

by (author) Éric Montpetit

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2004
Environmental Policy, General, General, Agriculture & Food, Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Conservation & Protection, Environmental Economics, Agribusiness
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2004
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2003
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price

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Citizens of industrialized countries largely share a sense that national and international governance is inadequate, believing not only that public authorities are incapable of making the right policy decisions, but also that the entire network of state and civil society actors responsible for the discussion, negotiation, and implementation of policy choices is untrustworthy. Using agro-environmental policy development in France, the United States, and Canada as case studies, Éric Montpetit sets out to investigate the validity of this distrust through careful attention to the performance of the relevant policy networks. He concludes that distrust in policy networks is, for the most part, misplaced because high levels of performance by policy networks are more common than many political analysts and citizens expect.

About the author


  • Winner, Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize, American Political Science STEP Award
  • Short-listed, Donner Prize, Donner Foundation

Contributor Notes

Éric Montpetit is with the Département de science politique at the Université de Montréal.

Editorial Reviews

This book is a welcome addition to the environmental policy literature, primarily because it addresses an important gap in our understanding of the relationship among agricultural practices, environmental protection, and public policy. Misplaced Distrust contains a valuable discussion of how France, the United States, and Canada have developed policies to control the negative impacts of agricultural practices on the ecosystem. Perhaps this investigation will inspire other political scientists to conduct additional comparative research in this important policy area.

Persectives on Politics, vol. 3, no. 3