Why Should the Public Participate in Environmental Decision-Making? Theoretical Arguments for Public Participation

  • Gabriella Kiss

Abstract

In modern societies dealing with environmental issues has become a part of everyday life. Making decisions on waste- or water-related issues is part of the public discourse in Hungary as well. The Hungarian literature on public participation discusses different participatory tools applied in particular policy fields. Public participation seems to have greater significance in environmental decisions than any other kind of democratic decision making processes. These experiences raise the question of ‘why should the public participate in making environmental decisions?’ In this paper we are looking for the answers to this question analysing the literature on public participation and exploring the relevant theoretical approaches. Arguments based on democracy theories, communication theory, sustainability, environmental democracy, risk research and behavioural economics will be summarized. The paper presents an analysis of how these different theoretical approaches treat public participation in environmental decision making and what arguments they present for its justification.
Keywords: public participation, democracy theories, environmental decision-making, sustainability
Published online
2014-05-16
How to Cite
Kiss, G. (2014) “Why Should the Public Participate in Environmental Decision-Making? Theoretical Arguments for Public Participation”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 22(1), pp. 13-20. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPso.7400.
Section
Articles