Asiantuntijoiden käsitykset tulevaisuudesta ja kauaskantoinen päätöksenteko

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Expert conceptions of the future and long-term decision making

The interaction between mental models used by experts to understand the future and institutional constraints within which they have to make decisions is explored in the light of a case study on long-term waste management policy in Finland. Focused interviews with researchers, politicians, goverment officials and entrepreneurs involved in Finnish waste management provide the empirical basis of cognitive maps, which reflect the institutional, technological and psychological constraints perceived by the interviewees to restrict long-term waste management. The analysis indicates that Finland's corporatist institutions of environmental policy systematically prevent log-term considerations from becoming operational as guidelines for action. Environmental corporatism nurtures short-term operating assumptions, which in turn justify decisions that support corporatist structures and procedures. The proposed reforms are characterised by an administrative and procedural separation of conflicting socio-political interests.