Munch and his colleagues examine how democracy works in the practice of political regulation. Based on empirical research on the politics of clean air in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States, they provide a comparative sociological perspective. Thus, they look at social change and social integration rather than issues of governance and administration in terms of effectiveness and democratic legitimation. The analysis looks at how different forms of democracy given in the four countries achieve more or less in the political regulation of clean air in terms of societal innovation, conflict settlement, and consensus formation. They concentrate on the network of actors involved, their professions included with their concepts of rationality, the institutional rules of policymaking, and the cultural ideas that are invoked in the legitimation of procedures and decisions. While each country has developed a peculiar form of democracy-representative democracy in the UK, etatist-republican democracy in France, consensus and rule of law democracy in Germany, and multilevel pluralist competitive democracy in the US-they conclude that challenges of the established regulatory style and political order are pushing each country towards a more open democracy. Scholars and students in comparative sociology and political science as well as environmentalists will find the study of particular interest.