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Governing Sustainable Development: Coercion, Negotiation and Persuasion in the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica

Arnall, Su (2015) Governing Sustainable Development: Coercion, Negotiation and Persuasion in the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This study explores the impact of different types of governance in promoting sustainable tourism in developing states. Given the very limited research in this area, and yet the common challenges found in many developing states around achieving sustainable tourism, it assesses the significance of tourism governance in Costa Rica - a small developing state with an enviable international reputation for ‘ecotourism’. A theoretical model for the study of sustainable development governance is devised and employed, which defines sustainable development and identifies three different types of governance mechanisms - ‘legal’, ‘bargaining’ and ‘persuasive’ - distinguished by the degree to which they are choice-constraining for ‘governed’ actors. The thesis then evaluates the effectiveness of these mechanisms in turn with respect to ‘ecotourism’ in Costa Rica. The governance mechanisms identified as moderately effective at promoting sustainable tourism in Costa Rica include national park and coastal regulations, the state-run Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) certification system, and the non-state Rainforest Alliance’s technical assistance programme. The thesis identifies a number of success factors related to the characteristics of these mechanisms that enhance their impact, including the collaborative nature of the bargaining and persuasive mechanisms and the high choice-constraining nature of legal mechanisms. Other, more contextual, success factors include a heightened receptiveness towards sustainable development, the state’s authority and bureaucratic competence, and the expertise of non-state organisations. The thesis also seeks to make a contribution towards theoretical debates around the degree to which the state has continuing significance in governance, and the relative significance of compulsory versus voluntary governance mechanisms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Politics (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675552
Depositing User: Su Arnall
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 09:15
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:06
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11430

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