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Legality and legitimacy of public involvement in infrastructure planning: observations from hydropower projects in India

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In contentious policy arenas where planning has traditionally been driven by the triad of expert knowledge, bureaucrats and public representatives, often public involvement is understood as a panacea that is used to legitimise decisions, reduce conflict and enhance public acceptance. This paper, based on evidence of public involvement in environmental planning over hydropower projects in India, argues that quite contrary to the expectation, there could be a mismatch between the legality and legitimacy of the public involvement exercise which may possibly then transform into situations that exacerbate rather than reduce conflicts.
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Keywords: India; hydropower; legality; legitimacy; public hearing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental and Land Economics, Institute for Landscape Architecture and Environment Planning, Berlin Institute of Technology (TU-Berlin), EB 4-2 Stra├če des 17. Juni 145, 10623, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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