Development of a deliberative democratic framework for the evaluation of environmental alternative dispute resolution processes

Adams, Brian (2012). Development of a deliberative democratic framework for the evaluation of environmental alternative dispute resolution processes PhD Thesis, School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Adams, Brian
Thesis Title Development of a deliberative democratic framework for the evaluation of environmental alternative dispute resolution processes
Formatted title
Development of a Deliberative Democratic Framework for the Evaluation of Environmental Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes
School, Centre or Institute School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Morgan Brigg
Rae Wear
Total pages 227
Total black and white pages 227
Language eng
Subjects 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
050205 Environmental Management
160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Formatted abstract
Alternative dispute resolution interventions are increasingly popular in environmental disputes, but insufficient work is being done to evaluate their overall effectiveness and much of the work that is being done is inadequate for the task. Existing evaluations tend to be post hoc and unsystematic, largely confined to the particular case with little or no theoretical engagement. To address these shortfalls, this thesis moulds nine deliberative democratic principles—reason, public good, respect, reflexivity, unboundedness, ecology, dynamism, plurality and reflection—into an evaluation framework. This framework is then systematically compared to three influential evaluation frameworks in the environmental management literature: Consensus Building and Complex Adaptive Systems, Collaborative Planning Evaluation, and the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. This comparison determines and elaborates the value of the deliberative framework in three areas needed to evaluate the overall effectiveness of ADR interventions: conceptual coherence, engagement with  complexity and applicability across a broad range of cases. Whilst each of the existing frameworks claims strength in one or more essential characteristics, they suffer from weaknesses or gaps revealed through comparison with the deliberative democratic framework.

    My proposed framework reveals and responds to these gaps and weaknesses because it targets for evaluation assumptions that lie at the heart of ADR evaluation. ADR evaluation assumes that good collaborative processes generate valued dynamics such as mutual understanding, better relationships, and respectful communication. Therefore, such outcomes are not targeted for evaluation by existing frameworks. Conversely, the deliberative democratic framework views such dynamics as conditions for good processes and advances principles for facilitating their development. In so doing, it opens to scrutiny what other ADR evaluation frameworks do not examine, namely the pillars of good collaboration.

    This research strengthens evaluation of alternative dispute resolution by furnishing a sound alternative to the current range of evaluation frameworks. It also furthers the development of dispute resolution theory and practice by providing a framework that can compare resolution processes across a variety of interventions.
Keyword Deliberative democracy
Environmental management
Alternative dispute resolution
Political science

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Created: Fri, 07 Jun 2013, 16:29:15 EST by Brian Adams on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service