Analysis, participation and power: justification and closure in participatory multi-criteria analysis

Stirling, Andrew (2006) Analysis, participation and power: justification and closure in participatory multi-criteria analysis. Land Use Policy, 23 (1). pp. 95-107. ISSN 0264-8377

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Abstract

By reference to the particular field of multi-criteria assessment, this paper examines some key themes in the general relationship between participatory deliberation and quantitative analysis in the appraisal of environmental performance. The paper builds on Fiorino's distinction between normative, substantive and instrumental approaches to appraisal. Although often contrasted, both analysis and deliberation are found to be similarly sensitive to different kinds of 'framing conditions'. After Collingridge, it is argued that both approaches are therefore susceptible to various political and institutional pressures for decision justification. Based on this analysis, it is concluded that there exists an important but neglected characteristic of social appraisal that is equally applicable to both participatory and analytic approaches and which in many ways transcends the importance of this distinction. This concerns the difference between the functions of appraisal in 'opening up' or 'closing down' wider policy discourses. By exploring some detailed implications for participatory multi-criteria assessment, the paper points towards a more balanced emphasis on these two modes of appraisal.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Andrew Stirling
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:30
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 09:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26287
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