Communication and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making

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The contributors to this volume explore the communication practices of various stakeholders - interested citizens, grassroots and public interest groups, industry representatives, scientists and technical experts, government agencies, federal regulators - engaged in a variety of environmental decision-making contexts in the U.S. and elsewhere. Included are case studies that analyze individuals and organizations participating both within institutional mechanisms and through alternative forms of environmental advocacy. These studies reveal that public participation in environmental decision making is both shaped by and, in many cases, constrained by the ways in which environmental issues, problems, and solutions are defined or framed through the strategic communication practices of the participants.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an excellent book for anyone interested in contemporary practice of public participation … For those already versed in the public participation literature, there will be much that is familiar. But the slight sense of having heard some of this before is much outweighed by the richness of the material and the strength of the communication studies approach, providing a consistent spine through all the work.” — Journal of Environmental Management and Planning

“…this volume provides a good overview of theory and practice in environmental decision-making, plus a 34-page bibliography that covers the three and-and-a-half decades of environmental public involvement.” — Technical Communication

“These essays address issues that are vital to environmentalism and public policy, as well as contribute to communication studies and political science. The overwhelming strength of the book is the plethora of case studies. In relating these cases, the authors contribute not only to general knowledge, but also to social theory and environmental communication.” — Kevin Michael DeLuca, author of Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism

“This book will make a substantial and important contribution to the literature, not only in communication studies and environmental studies, but also in urban planning and policy making.” — James A. Throgmorton, coeditor of Story and Sustainability: Planning, Practice, and Possibility for American Cities

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791460238
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/2004
  • Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen P. Depoe is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. At the Center for Environmental Communication Studies, Depoe is Director.

John W. Delicath is Communications Analyst with the Natural Resources and Environment Group at the U.S. General Accounting Office in Washington, DC. At the Center for Environmental Communication Studies

Marie-France Aepli Elsenbeer is Research the Center for Environmental Communication Studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The trinity of voice : the role of practical theory in planning and evaluating the effectiveness of environmental participatory processes 13
2 A social communication perspective toward public participation : the case of the Cispus adaptive management area 35
3 Competing and converging values of public participation : a case study of participant views in Department of Energy nuclear weapons cleanup 59
4 Public expertise : a foundation for citizen participation in energy and environmental decisions 83
5 Decide, announce, defend : turning the NEPA process into an advocacy tool rather than a decision-making tool 99
6 The Roadless Areas Initiative as national policy : is public participation an oxymoron? 113
7 Public participation and (failed) legitimation : the case of Forest Service rhetorics in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area 137
8 Public involvement, civic discovery, and the formation of environmental policy : a comparative analysis of the Fernald Citizens Task Force and the Fernald Health Effects Subcommittee 157
9 Public participation or stakeholder frustration : an analysis of consensus-based participation in the Georgia Ports Authority's Stakeholder Evaluation Group 175
10 "Free trade" and the eclipse of civil society : barriers to transparency and public participation in NAFTA and the Free Trade Area of the Americas 201
11 Global governance and social capital : mapping NGO capacities in different institutional contexts 223
12 Toxic tours : communicating the "presence" of chemical contamination 235
13 Art and advocacy : citizen participation through cultural activism 255
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