Participatory Democracy, Pluralism, and the Rational Model in Natural Resource Planning: A Case Study of the San Pedro River Initiative Process, Arizona, U.S.A.
AuthorEvans, Luke T.
AdvisorCortner, Hanna J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn analysis and critique is conducted of pluralism, the rational model, and participatory democracy in relation to public participation in natural resource planning and policy development. Each theory is evaluated in terms of efficacy, representation and access, information exchange and learning, continuity of participation, and decision-making authority. A case study is used to assess elements of each theory in an actual public participation process, utilizing the above criteria. The study indicates that the need for efficiency precludes the use of practices that would more thoroughly involve the public in decision making processes, and that policy making tends to revert to more traditional, expert-dominated, and exclusive public processes despite efforts to the contrary. Finally, the analysis questions the utility of comprehensive public involvement in natural resource policy making and planning given the constraints of existing legal mandates, polarized public opinions, and the need for decisions made in the larger public interest.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Renewable Natural Resources