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Context dependency and stakeholder involvement in EIA: the decisive role of practitioners

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The outcomes of frameworks and practices for stakeholder involvement in environmental impact assessment (EIA) for road planning, under the umbrella of a common EU legal framework, are investigated here in specific national contexts. Data for the two empirical cases examined - Poland and Sweden - are related to the recent ongoing discussion on context dependency for Environmental Assessments (EA). The analysis, informed by practitioner interviews and documentary review, comprises a historical review of the evolution of EIA and stakeholder involvement, and examines more closely the legal frameworks, formal and informal arenas for stakeholder involvement, and norms of stakeholder involvement held by professionals involved in the planning process in the two countries. The results challenge existing assumptions about the relative depth of institutionalisation of stakeholder involvement and environmental concern in a Scandinavian and Central-Eastern European context, and highlight the decisive role of practitioners in the application of EA frameworks in planning practice.
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Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); context dependency; deliberation; road planning; stakeholder involvement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden 2: Mobility, actors and planning processes, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Linkoping, Sweden 3: Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark 4: Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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