Deliberation as a catalyst for reflexive environmental governance

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Abstract

Ecological or ecosystemic reflexivity involves the capacity of social-ecological systems to reconfigure themselves in response to reflection on their performance. In this paperwe argue that deliberation is central to reflexive governance, mainly because it can reconcilemany if not most of the sometimes contradictory claims that are made in the literature about its drivers. We take four key dimensions along which reflexivity may be sought, each of which features a binary that puts two plausible drivers of reflexivity in tension with one another: (i) sources of knowledge (public participation versus expertise); (ii) composition of public discourse (diversity versus consensus); (iii) institutional architecture (polycentricity versus centralization); (iv) institutional dynamics (flexibility versus stability). In each case, we demonstrate that deliberative ideas can manage the tension between the two plausible drivers of reflexivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Economics
Volume131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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