The issue of time, most associated with intergenerational justice, is an integral component of the sustainable development agenda. And yet, research in this area from a governance perspective remains strangely cross-sectional in nature. This paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of time by analysing the impact of transformative events across the development of governance practices. Sustainable development is conceptualized in this paper as a serious challenge for governance structures and processes in nation states over time. Global and European agreements have placed the inclusion of civil society actors in policy-making at the heart of the sustainability agenda. In contrast, there is a clear mismatch between these principles of civil society inclusion and policy-making in France. This paper assesses the implementation of sustainable development as civil society inclusion with reference to the French experience in dealing with genetically modified organisms policy. It is argued that ‘sustainable governance’ must embrace a more comprehensive understanding of ‘change over time’.

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Environmental Policy and Governance
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

McCauley, D.A. (2013). Sustainability, Governance and Time: Exploring Critical Junctures. Environmental Policy and Governance, 23(5), 283–296. doi:10.1002/eet.1624