Deliberative democracy and the Tasmanian forest peace process

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Decades of contention regarding Tasmania's forests have been accompanied by several attempts for peace. Most recently the ‘forest peace process’ culminated in the 2012 Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA). We evaluate the peace process that led to the TFA, and its subsequent dismantling, from the perspective of deliberative democracy, which promises to achieve democratically legitimate outcomes in the toughest conflicts. Using normative criteria to evaluate the deliberative democratic quality of the process, our analysis shows that trades-offs were needed, and not all normative criteria could be achieved equally and simultaneously. Despite its shortcomings, and short-lived life, the peace process illustrates the possibility of achieving meta-consensus in deep value conflicts, and the crucial role of this consensus for sustaining deliberation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-307
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016


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