Air pollution governance in Iran: inhibiting factors

Saheb, Tahereh
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Fortun, Kim
Fortun, Michael
Breyman, Steve
Nieusma, Dean
Lotfalian, Mazyar
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Science and technology studies
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The aim of this study is to advance understanding of air pollution governance in Iran through examination of supporting policy and the ‘thought-styles’ of various stakeholders. The study will focus on four stakeholder groups: international stakeholders, government affiliated Iranian stakeholders, citizens, and air pollution scientists. Through content analysis of national development plans, laws and regulations, scientific publications, and popular media, the research will document the historical development of environmental health risk governance in Iran, examining different styles of governance under three successive presidencies. This research will be a first step toward characterization of risk governance styles in the Middle East region. The study builds on the concept of “environmental governance styles” developed in The Asthma Files project, a collaborative ethnographic study of asthma and air pollution governance in different settings. Theoretically, this research builds on the concept of “thought styles” developed in historical and social studies of science and on theories of “risk governance” developed in political science. The primary finding of the research is that air pollution governance in Iran has been inhibited by socio-political processes and structures that undercut assumption of responsibility and cooperative effort among stakeholders. Findings from this research can be used to orient capacity building in Iran intended to strengthen roles for government agencies, diverse scientific communities and citizen organizations in air pollution governance.
August 2015
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dept. of Science and Technology Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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