Community Engagement or Community Action: Choosing Not to Play the Game

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Whelan, James
Lyons, Kristen
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Andrew Dobson, Neil Carter, Christopher Rootes

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2005
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Abstract

Environment movement organisations in Australia have experienced a frustrating honeymoon with deliberative governance. During the last three decades, conservationists have had increasing access to decision-making processes and forums. Since the 1980s, environmental decisions have generally involved public consultation and community engagement. Activist participants in these processes have tended, however, to over-estimate their potential to achieve conservation objectives through deliberative governance. And in many instances, environmental advocates have been coopted, institutionalised and neutralised. This case study of the major and successful campaign to control widespread landclearing in Queensland, Australia, examines failed community engagement. By rejecting both hierarchical, centralised decision-making and the inadequate engagement practices proposed by the state, activist groups mobilised community opinion and action to bring about an historic conservation win.

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Journal of Environmental Politics

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14

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5

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© 2005 Taylor & Francis. Use hypertext link for access to the journal's website.

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Policy and administration

Political science

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