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Environmental Values

Environmental Policy With Integrity: A Lesson from the Discursive Dilemma

Kenneth Shockley

Environmental Values 18 (2009): 177-199. doi: 10.3197/096327109X438053


In response to what has been called the discursive dilemma, Christian List has argued that the nature of the public agenda facing deliberative bodies indicates the appropriate form of decision procedure or deliberative process. In this paper I consider the particular case of environmental policy where we are faced with pressures not only from deliberators and stakeholders, but also in response to dynamic changes in the environment itself. As a consequence of this dilemma I argue that insofar as the focus of a policy forming body is on the formation of viable environmental policy, rather than on a set of pre-existent ideological commitments, deliberative agents should be responsive as a unified body to the pressures of precedent, the best available science, and their own best individual judgments. In the case of environmental policy the dilemma pressures deliberative bodies to display what Ronald Dworkin has called integrity even in cases where this requires those deliberative bodies to sacrifice being maximally responsive to the preferences of individual deliberators.


Policy, integrity, dilemma, deliberation

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

An Imaginary Solution? The Green Defence of Deliberative Democracy. Manuel Arias-Maldonado

Environmental Organisations in New Forms of Political Participation: Ecological Modernisation and the Making of Voluntary Rules. Magnus Bostrom

What Silence Knows - Planning, Public Participation and Environmental Values Anna Davies

Environmental Philosophy and the Public Interest: A Pragmatic Reconciliation. Ben A. Minteer

Environment and Participation in a Context of Political Modernisation.Jan P.M. van Tatenhove and Pieter Leroy

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Sourcing Stability in a Time of Climate Change. Kenneth Shockley

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