Participation and the Quality of Environmental Decision Making

Participation and the Quality of Environmental Decision Making

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It is clear that our society must become a more sustainable one. To that end, we must change both our production and our consumption patterns. Some argue that this implies the abolition of democratic processes, and thus of citizens' participation in environmental policy. Others argue the opposite: the only way to avoid impending environmental disaster is by engaging in common deliberation and contemplation. Is participation, then, a negative force or not?


This volume is one of the first coordinated attempts to study the relationship between democratic, participatory forms of decision making and the quality of environmental decisions. The central question is how can the normatively desirable practice of participatory decision making be combined with an effective approach to environmental issues?


Guided by a theoretical introduction by the editors, the 15 chapters deal with topics ranging from the scale of environmental problems, local agenda 21, infrastructural decisions, strategic planning, to environmental policy in developing countries. Three chapters are devoted to each of these broad themes. Each presents either a theoretical or an empirical argument about the central research question, shedding light on such issues as the measurement of decision quality, participation techniques, and the link between participation and decision quality, drawing on experience gained in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. The introductions to the individual parts of the book have been collectively written by the contributors, who represent a range of professional disciplines, including political science, public policy and planning.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 333 pages
  • 162.6 x 238.8 x 25.4mm | 680.4g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1998 ed.
  • VII, 333 p.
  • 0792352645
  • 9780792352648

Table of contents

1. Participation and Environment; F.H.J.M. Coenen, et al. Part One: Interconnectedness, Participation and Problem Scale.
2. State, Association and Community in a Sustainable, Democratic Polity: Towards a Green Associationalism; H. Ward.
3. Participation at the Local Level in the Context of Environmental Governance; H.Th.A. Bressers, et al.
4. Linking Stakeholder Participation and Environmental Decision-Making: Assessing Decision Quality for Interstate River Basin Management; G.M. Cowie, L.J.O'Toole. Part Two: Local Agenda 21.
5. Changing the World Through Participative Action: The Dynamics and Potential of Local Agenda 21; J. Doak.
6. Learning from Past Experience? Local Agenda 21 Processes and Integrated Urban Development Planning in Germany; S.H. Lustig, U. Weiland.
7. The Influence on Local Agenda 21 on Local Policy and the Quality of Decision-Making: The Pioneer City of The Hague; J. Andringa. Part Three: Strategic Planning.
8. Participation in Strategic Green Planning in the Netherlands; F.H.J.M. Coenen.
9. Interactive Policy-Making in the Netherlands; H.-J.W. Oosterveld, H. Pullen.
10. Consensus-Building, Urban Planning Policies and the Problem of Scale: Examples from Italy; A. Balducci, P. Fareri. Part Four: Infrastructure: The Road to Eternity?
11. Dutch Infrastructure Policies, Public Participation and the Environment in the 1990s: The Politics of Interfering Logistics; P.K.Pestman.
12. Is supranational Participation Possible? The European Union's Attempt to Enhance Participation in Dublin's Transport Initiative; B. Flynn.
13. Hazardous Decisions. The Siting of Hazardous Waste Facilities in Canada and the United States; D. Huitema. Part Five: Participation, Environment and Development: The Developing Countries' Setting.
14. Participatory Learning in Rural Africa: Towards Better Decisions for Agricultural Development; J.N. Pretty.
15. Popular Participation and Pollution Control in Brazil; M.C.M. Lemos.
16. Participation in Southeast Asian Pollution Control Policies; P.S. Hofman.
17. Participation and Environmental Decision Quality: An Assessment; F.H.J.M. Coenen, et al. About the Authors.
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