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Siting conflicts - democratic perspectives and political implications

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All citizens, irrespective of their geographical location, have a stake in the global environment. At the same time, they have different interests as well as unequal resources concerning the possibility of developing strategies and influencing environmental agendas and decisions. This forms the basis for the quest for an ecological citizenship, where people, wherever they are located in the world, have a voice in matters that concern their environment. This article takes the search for ecological citizenship as its point of departure in discussing democratic aspects of siting controversies. From a national perspective a certain plant may be seen as a necessity, whilst from a local perspective it is a disturbing nuisance. Thereby the question of spatial equity is in focus, not least to what extent and in what cases an individual person, a local community or a municipality should be subordinated to a national decision which implies local environmental consequences. The author argues that there is not only a need to create new forms of dialogue between stakeholders, but also to develop new institutions for collective decision making and mechanisms for public participation, democratic decision making and ecological responsibility.

Keywords: discursive democracy; ecological citizenships; public participation; sitting conflicts

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Housing and Urban Research and Research Centre Man-Technology-Environment Örebro University SE-701 82 Örebro Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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