Keywords: governance, governmentality, national sustainable development strategies, New Zealand, Scotland, sustainability principles, sustainable development policy, sustainability policy
A comparison of the national sustainable development strategies for New Zealand and Scotland
Sustainable development policy is explored through the national sustainable development strategies of two countries, Scotland and New Zealand, over the period 2003–2007. Since governance of issues starts with formulation of strategic direction, texts that purport to address sustainable development strategy provide a lens into governments' value systems. We use a form of Foucault's governmentality and, drawing from papers that provide characterisations of governing approaches, we provide a discourse analysis of the two strategies and examine how the demands of sustainability are constructed within these documents. Adoption of sustainability principles in both countries appears dominated by the continued use of current governance practices, with few examples of what could be characterised a sustainability–led governance. How each country's strategy approaches the task of governing, however, is different.