New PDF release: Communication and Public Participation in Environmental

By Stephen P. Depoe

ISBN-10: 0791460231

ISBN-13: 9780791460238

ISBN-10: 1423739426

ISBN-13: 9781423739425

The individuals to this quantity discover the verbal exchange practices of varied stakeholders—interested voters, grassroots and public curiosity teams, representatives, scientists and technical specialists, executive companies, federal regulators—engaged in various environmental decision-making contexts within the U.S. and in other places. integrated are case reports that study members and businesses partaking either inside institutional mechanisms and during substitute kinds of environmental advocacy. those stories demonstrate that public participation in environmental choice making is either formed via and, in lots of circumstances, restricted via the ways that environmental concerns, difficulties, and options are outlined or framed in the course of the strategic conversation practices of the individuals.

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Mazmanian & Nienaber (1979) note the reactive position that public hearings force citizens to assume. Cole’s and Caputo’s (1984) longitudinal study of eight years of public hearings concerning the General Revenue Sharing Program found that “the public hearing may permit sanctioned isolation of agencies and agency officials seeking as little program and policy change as possible” (p. 415). Most citizens who attend local public hearings do so to represent a particular perspective on an issue, yet the public hearing format is not conducive 30 Communication and Public Participation to dialogue, discussion, learning, and creative problem solving.

Agency produces manuals, training materials, and guidelines for effective public participation; and even though every international environmental treaty makes explicit provisions for effective public participation; DeSario and Langton’s 1987 admonition still rings true: “We are far from clear on matters of what kinds of structures and procedures would be necessary to develop and maintain a healthy ‘technodemocratic’ society” (1987b, p. 14). What constitutes voice? That is, we still are not quite sure what “effective” means, based on general principles that allow for case-specific accommodation but also serve to pull common threads through diverse cases (Popovic, 1993).

No wonder they default to the traditional if unsatisfactory forms that make them reluctant to engage in unfamiliar forms to interact with these citizens who appear to be hysterical, irrational, and ignorant. In this selfdefeating cycle, citizens have very little civic standing; hence, their access is diminished as well. To what degree do they have influence? With few exceptions, not much if any. The decision space is small because most if not all of the decision has already been made. Developers might tweak a parking area, plant more mature trees, take additional care buffering a wetland during construction, or change some minor specifications, but they typically do not withdraw an application.

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Communication and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making by Stephen P. Depoe


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