Analysis and democracy: the antecedents of the deliberative approach of ecosystems valuation
As a political institution, open deliberation on public policy can enhance legitimacy and procedural justice. As a science, decision-aiding deliberative procedures can help overcome bounded rationality of individuals. Integrating the two modes of inquiry would be perfect for capturing the plural values of the environment. However, the analytic requirements seem to point in a different direction from the political ideals. Legitimacy problems arise when the supposedly unconstrained process is professionally 'guided'. But rigorous decision aids fail to work without some degree of cognitive guidance. A trend in ecosystems valuation research is the use of analytic techniques in the deliberative processes of value articulation. In this paper an analytic - deliberative approach is assessed against a deliberative democracy theory. This approach seeks to facilitate deliberation within individuals and to engineer preference towards instrumental rationality. The evaluative framework allows predetermination of the range of outcomes. Little room has been made for value debates, thus the moral need for actual discussion is weak. Being expert centred, the framework provides constricted spaces for empowerment. Alternative expressions unintelligible to the science may be put at a disadvantage. The scope for a reflexive democratic institution appears limited. A promising deliberative valuation approach should be integrative, including analytic and political elements as complementary to each other, and should be democratic in its production.
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
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Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Environment and Resource Economics