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Exploring prospects of deliberation in intractable natural resource management conflicts
Unit of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Unit of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2372-1551
2022 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 315, article id 115205Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Deliberative processes are increasingly advocated as means to handle intractable natural resource management (NRM) conflicts. Research shows that disputing actors can deliberate and achieve higher degrees of mutual understanding and working agreements under ideal conditions, but the transferability of these findings to real-world intractable NRM conflicts can be questioned. This paper explores the possibilities of designing and realizing deliberation and its expected outcomes in real-world NRM conflicts. We used recommended design principles to set up deliberative processes in two intractable mining conflicts involving indigenous peoples in Northern Sweden and assessed the actors’ communication and outcomes using frame analysis. The results show that the recommended design principles are hard, but not impossible, to fully implement in intractable NRM conflicts. Both conflicts proved difficult to deliberate and resolve in the sense of reaching agreements. However, the findings suggest that deliberation, as well as meta-consensus, or structured disagreement, is possible to achieve in settings with favorable conditions, e.g. good and established inter-group relations prior to the conflict. In the absence of these conditions, where relations were hostile and shaped by historical and institutional injustices, deliberation was not achieved. In both cases, polarization among the participants remained, or increased, in spite of the deliberative activities. The study highlights the importance of understanding deliberation as embedded in place specific historical and institutional contexts which shape both process and outcomes in powerful ways. More efforts should focus on alternative, or complementary, ways to handle intractable NRM conflicts, including how contested experiences of history, institutions and Indigenous rights can be addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Press, 2022. Vol. 315, article id 115205
Keywords [en]
Conflict management, Deliberation, Deliberative democracy, Frame analysis, Mining conflicts, Natural resource management
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-194830DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115205ISI: 000832009800008PubMedID: 35533469Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85129765758OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-194830DiVA, id: diva2:1662832
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01599Available from: 2022-06-01 Created: 2022-06-01 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Zachrisson, Anna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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