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Realms of Value: Conflicting Natural Resource Values and Incommensurability

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Divergent values are often at the heart of natural resource conflict. Using discord over the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, U.S.A. as a case study, I propose that values are perceived as incommensurate because they reflect different realms, with which there exist distinct concepts of what it means to value and distinct, irreducible forms of value expression. I further argue that collaborative, discursive processes are one way to account for plural values in policy and decision making without requiring a common metric, yet they are not without theoretical and practical challenges.
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Keywords: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; collaborative decision making; incommensurability; plural values; value conflict; wilderness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2006

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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