New open access chapter with Gabriela Ileana Iacobuta and Ramona Hägele. in: Sachin Chaturvedi / Heiner Janus / Stephan Klingebiel / Xiaoyun Li / André de Mello e Souza / Elizabeth Sidiropoulos / Dorothea Wehrmann (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of development cooperation for achieving the 2030 Agenda, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 25-50, online
This chapter argues that most efforts to mobilise non-state and subnational actor engagement so far has insufficiently contributed to goal coherence—the balanced implementation of internationally agreed goals. Despite the increased level of attention being given to the polycentric nature of sustainable development and climate governance—especially the role of non-state and subnational actors—the predominant focus of both policy-makers and researchers has been on filling functional gaps, for example closing the global mitigation gap, or financing gaps. As a result, voluntariness and self-organisation in polycentric governance could increase the level of incoherence. Insights on emerging polycentric structures should be combined with tools that map (goal) coherence. The combination of these fields of knowledge could inform supportive policies, for instance in development cooperation to ensure greater coherence in implementing sustainable development priorities.