Deliberative Democracy and Co-management of Natural Resources: Snowmobile Regulation in Western Sweden

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2010

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Abstract

"Deliberation is an understudied aspect of co-management institutions and common pool theory that can be improved by a closer connection to deliberative democratic theory. Analyses of co-management arrangements provide needed empirical insights to deliberative democratic theory, although such arrangements are group-based and not readily accepted as examples of deliberative democracy. A framework is developed to analyze to what degree co-management arrangements incorporate deliberative elements and how they contribute to improved decision-making. To test its usefulness, a case study of a co-management process in Sweden is analyzed. In Funäsdalsfjällen, a mountainous area of western Sweden, a conflict-ridden situation caused by expanded use of snowmobiles eventually led to the establishment of a municipal regulation area. Central and regional authorities initially failed to resolve the conflict, but when the municipality started working directly with relevant interest groups, agreement was reached. Deliberative elements are shown to have been central to the success of the co-management process, and it is concluded that co-management and deliberative democratic approaches cross-fertilize one another."

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accountability, co-management, democracy, mountain regions

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