The Narrative of Public Participation in Environmental Governance and its Normative Presuppositions

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This article argues that the narrative of public participation in environmental governance that emerged from the Earth Summit in 1992 can be read as a direct challenge to the neoliberal approach to environmental governance. The challenge comes from constructing the concept of public participation as (i) the practice of providing decision makers with more and better information in order to help them design more equitable policies, and (ii) the practice of potentially influencing policy decisions by bringing new perspectives and values into the decision-making process. The article shows how this counter-narrative has itself now become a contested terrain: among a variety of normative presuppositions justifying practices of public participation, one can also find a market-friendly rationale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
JournalReview of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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