Environmentally Sustainable Growth: A Pragmatic Approach
Steven Cohen

How do we move away from the current environmentally destructive economic system toward one that is more sustainable while still ensuring continued economic growth? This book offers a positive vision of an environmentally sustainable future and lays out the steps ahead as we make the transition.

Steven Cohen explores the causes of environmental degradation and examines what sustainability looks like in practice. He outlines realistic paths toward a renewable resource–based economy, demonstrating that, in many respects, the shift to sustainability is already underway. Cohen describes a range of public policy and infrastructure initiatives that can encourage cleaner production in the private sector and consumption in everyday life. He argues that the politics, advocacy, and communication around environmental protection must change to emphasize successes, reduce scare tactics, and make sure that the lifestyles and careers associated with a more sustainable world sound attractive to a wide range of people. The book depicts an appealing and equitable future that assures quality of life while protecting the planet.

Environmentally Sustainable Growth brings together insights from many disciplines, spanning the latest scholarship and practical experience. Useful for students and courses, this book will be informative for practitioners, managers, analysts, activists, and scholars whose work incorporates environmental sustainability.

Published by Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231208642
240 pages
May 2023

The Sustainable City (second edition)
Steven Cohen and Dong Guo

Living sustainably is not just about preserving the wilderness or keeping nature pristine. The transition to a green economy depends on cities. Economic, technological, and cultural forces are moving people out of rural areas and into urban areas. If we are to avert climate catastrophe, we will need our cities to coexist with nature without destroying it. Urbanization holds the key to long-term sustainability, reducing per capita environmental impacts while improving economic prosperity and social inclusion for current and future generations.

The Sustainable City provides a broad and engaging overview of the urban systems of the twenty-first century. It approaches urban sustainability from the perspectives of behavioral change, organizational management, and public policy, looking at case studies of existing legislation, programs, and public-private partnerships that strive to align modern urban life and sustainability. The book synthesizes the disparate strands of sustainable city planning in an approachable and applicable guide that highlights how these issues touch our lives on a daily basis, including the transportation we take, the public health systems that protect us, where our energy comes from, and what becomes of our food waste.

This second edition of The Sustainable City dives deeper into the financing of sustainable infrastructure and initiatives and puts additional emphasis on the roles that individual citizens and varied stakeholders can play. It also reviews current trends in urban inequality and discusses whether a model of sustainability that embraces a multidimensional approach to development and a multistakeholder approach to decision-making can foster social inclusion. It features many more examples and new international case studies spanning the globe.

Published by Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231196543
264 pages
June 2021


Older edition(s):


Management Fundamentals

Steven Cohen and William Eimicke

Skillful management is essential to the functioning of any organization. But what are the fundamental elements of a manager’s work? What tools and techniques can managers employ to achieve their goals? At a time when organizations must work across sectors, between farther physical distances, and while interweaving sustainability and equity, what do managers need to know about the changing nature of work and leadership? This book is a succinct handbook of the essentials of management for current and future practitioners. Leadership experts Steven Cohen and William Eimicke concisely explain management best practices, aiming to equip managers with the tools of the trade and prepare them to tackle decision-making. They detail three core areas of practice: operations, opportunities, and organization and society, underscoring how ethical and strategic guidance and behaviors are essential to sustainable success. The book delves into the leadership role of managers, financial management skills, performance management essentials, organizational structure and human resources management, strategic planning, sustainability, contract management, private-public partnerships, public engagement and advertisement, organizational ethics, and the future of technology for management professionals. Designed for new managers as a roadmap and for experienced managers as a reference, this book offers an indispensable guide to the fundamental components of management across public, private, and social-sector.

Published by Columbia University Press
224 pages
June 2020


Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy
Steven Cohen, William Eimicke, and Alison Miller

Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy is a fundamental guide to sustainability policy development, implementation, strategy, and practice. It focuses on the critical role of government and public policy in accelerating the shift to a sustainable economy based on renewable resources. Featuring detailed cases highlighting innovative sustainability initiatives, the book explores the elements that constitute effective policy, and the factors that can help or hinder implementation and adoption. Emphasizing politically-feasible policy tools at the federal, state, and local levels, the book focuses on public sector actions that spur innovation and organizational change in the private sector and behavioral change at the individual level towards more sustainable practices. This book is ideal for use in courses on sustainability, environmental policy, and public management, and will serve as a useful guide for professionals and managers.

Published by Jossey-Bass Publishers
ISBN: 978-1118916377
288 pages
February 2015


Understanding Environmental Policy (second edition)

Steven Cohen

The first edition of this pragmatic course text emphasized the policy value of a “big picture” approach to the ethical, political, technological, scientific, economic, and management aspects of environmental issues. The text then applied this approach to real-world case examples involving leaks in underground storage tanks, toxic waste cleanup, and the effects of global climate change.

This second edition demonstrates the ongoing effectiveness of the book’s framework in generating meaningful action and policy solutions to current environmental issues. The text adds case examples concerning congestion taxes, e-waste, hydrofracking, and recent developments in global climate change, updating references and other materials throughout and incorporating the political and policy changes of the Obama administration’s first term and developments in national and global environmental issues.

Published by Columbia University Press
ISBN-13: 978-0231167758
232 pages
June 2014


Older edition(s):


The Effective Public Manager: Achieving Success in a Changing Government (fifth edition)

Steven Cohen, William Eimicke, and Tanya Heikkila

Since it was first published more than twenty years ago, The Effective Public Manager has become the classic resource for public administrators and students. The fourth edition of this groundbreaking work synthesizes the current thinking in the field and presents practical lessons and tools in a highly accessible format. Focused on helping real-world managers and managers-to-be meet the demands of their jobs head-on rather than working around the constraints of government, this book offers a fresh approach to implementing effective management tools in a dynamic political, organizational, economic, and technological context.

Steven Cohen is director of The Executive MPA Program and The MPA In Earth Systems Science, Policy and Management of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is co-author of Total Quality Management in Government.

William Eimicke is director of the Picker Center for Executive Education of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Tanya Heikkila is assistant professor of Public Affairs Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Published by Jossey-Bass
ISBN-13: 978-1118555934
352 pages
August 2013


Older edition(s):


Sustainability Management

Steven Cohen

Can we grow our world economy and create opportunities for the poor while keeping the planet intact? Can we maintain our vibrant, dynamic lifestyles while ensuring the Earth stays productive and viable? Aimed at managers, students, scholars, and policymakers, Sustainability Management answers these questions in the affirmative, arguing it is possible for environmentally sustainable business practices and policies to foster economic and long-term growth.

Written by a former analyst and consultant with the EPA, this book originally combines sustainable efforts in water, agriculture, urban, and power management to achieve—in practice, not just in theory—a sustainable planet and economy. Steven Cohen begins with the technical, financial, managerial, and political challenges of such a project, and then honestly assesses sustainable practices in the manufacturing and service industries. He addresses renewable and carbon-free energy production; water sustainability, especially with regard to energy issues involving filtration, distribution, and changing rainfall patterns; food cultivation and distribution; and ways to maintain the interdependent systems on which we depend to live. Taking examples from New York City, one of the most sustainable and sustainability-minded metropolises in the world, Cohen explains how everything from construction to waste management can be designed to facilitate a sustainable environment, not just for New York but also for the world. He concludes with this macroscopic view, outlining the global efforts necessary to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, and the impact of war, terrorism, and human conflict on sustainability.

Published by Columbia University Press
ISBN-13: 978-0231152587
182 pages
July 2011


The Responsible Contract Manager: Protecting the Public Interest in an Outsourced World

Steven Cohen and William Eimicke

In The Responsible Contract Manager, the authors have written an essential book for contemporary public managers. Contract management is a critical skill for every manager to master in these current times. As more government duties are contracted out, managers must learn to coordinate and measure the performance of private contractors, and to write contract requirements and elicit bids that obtain important services and products at the best possible price and quality. They must also learn to work in teams that include both public and private sector partners.

This book fills a major gap in public management literature by providing a clear and practical introduction to the best practices of contract management. Imperative to this understanding is the discussion of public ethics, governance and representation theory. These elements make this book an essential guide for all public management scholars, students, and practitioners.

Published by Georgetown University Press
ISBN-13: 978-1589012141
224 pages
October 2008


Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation: A Policy Approach That Works

Steven Cohen

This book provides an innovative model for the design of effective environmental regulation, and proposes a strategic regulatory model to ensure a correspondence between private behavior and public aims.  The proposed strategic model relies on a strong, interactive relationship between business and government, and considers a regulation’s objectives, target audience, and the nature of the regulatory agency in creating an effective plan. The authors consider two case studies—the use of the gasoline additive MTBE and the cleanup of underground storage tanks—to illustrate the application of their model. While the introduction of the additive MTBE was meant to produce cleaner-burning gas, it instead added to groundwater and air pollution. This case study demonstrates the weaknesses of a top-down, fragmented regulatory approach. On the other hand, the cleanup of underground storage tanks was a successful venture, because of its strategic, results-oriented method. Aware that regulation works better in some cases than others, the authors provide alternative approaches as well. The authors’ main goal is to lay an innovative groundwork to better environmental quality control.

Published by MIT Press
ISBN-13: 978-0262532754
334 pages
December 2005


Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Strengthening Public Sector Organizations

Steven Cohen and William Eimicke

Today’s public administrators must be more than effective managers of their agencies’ internal operations. In order to thrive in the complex inter-organizational relationships spanning governments, nonprofit organizations, and private firms in a global economy, public managers and their organizations must be capable of great flexibility and innovation to be truly effective. Today’s public managers must move beyond competence to become creative innovators and agents of change. Tools for Innovators introduces public managers to the tools that today’s most innovative leaders are using to bring about change in their organizations. Steven Cohen and William Eimicke distinguish tools for innovation from traditional functional tools such as budgeting, human resource management, and organizational structure. The six key innovation tools they examine are: * Strategic Planning * Reengineering * Total Quality Management * Benchmarking, Performance Measurement and Management * Team Management * Privatization They show what the innovation tools are all about, how to use them, their costs and benefits and perhaps most critically, how to use them together—showing how to integrate them into a single framework of management innovation. Concrete case examples of successful innovation efforts drawn from the authors’ own experiences provide examples of the challenges managers face as they attempt to innovate. These cases discuss how innovations are introduced and adjusted to the specific needs of real-world situations. The creative public manager must continually look for new tools and new approaches. Tools for Innovators will help in this search, enabling managers to meet the challenges of a changing public sector.

Published by Jossey-Bass
ISBN-13: 978-0787909536
224 pages
April 1998


Total Quality Management in Government: A Practical Guide for the Real World

Steven Cohen and Ronald Brand

This book sheds light on applying TQM in the real world of government organizations–showing how to introduce TQM, overcome barriers to change, and make TQM a success story of any government agency. Drawing on extensive research and their own school of hard knocks experience implementing TQM in a unit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Steven Cohen and Ronald Brand present straightforward, practical advice on implementing TQM in government settings. The authors cite examples of TQM successes in specific government agencies–including the Treasury Department, U.S. Air Force, and Department of Veteran Affairs–to reveal how the principles of TQM can be applied at all levels of government. In addition, the book provides numerous charts and diagrams that show concretely how to apply the concepts and techniques of TQM within any governmental unit. The authors offer case examples that detail what organizational changes–from modifications of clerical procedures to major alterations of agency policy–need to be implemented when TQM is introduced in government agencies.

Published by Jossey-Bass
ISBN-13: 978-1555425395
228 pages
April 1993