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Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Conflict
Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Conflict
The Need for a Collaborative Approach

Until recently, the prevailing notion was that the best public policy decisions were made through technocratic governance and professional experts. Decisions were left up to technical experts who use their knowledge to analyze a controversial situation and implement their proposals. Society has become increasingly aware of environmental issues, however, and has expressed a desire to participate in deciding how to resolve these issues (Peterson & Feldpausch-Parker, 2013). This awareness and interest means that the challenges of structuring productive participation opportunities, identifying appropriate stakeholders, and constructively incorporating public recommendations have become central concerns for government agencies, industries, and interest groups.

Conflict researchers argue that “governance grounded in conventional bureaucratic rationality too often ...

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