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New forms of decision making for sustainability

Author(s): Mojca Golobič | Wolfgang Pfefferkorn | Sergeja Praper

Journal: Urbani Izziv
ISSN 0353-6483

Volume: 18;
Issue: 1–2;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: effects of decision making forms | markets | technocratic | consultative | co-decision making

Paper discusses the way and the level to which the decision making form is relevant for the outcome of the decision process as measured against the sustainability targets. A brief overview of scientific and political discourse on this matter shows, that participative decision making forms are supposed to lead towards sustainable development. While their qualities in ensuring transparency, inclusiveness, fairness and deliberation opportunities for concerned citizens need not be questioned, their contribution towards other sustainability goals require some empirical support. An attempt to collect some empirical evidence on this relation is presented in the second part of the paper. The study is based on the analysis of extensive data base of “best practice examples” in several topics related to sustainable development, which were compiled in “Future in the Alps” project. A brief overview confirms the inadequacy of traditional market, technocratic and consultative decision making forms to effectively support sustainability objectives. The detailed study of a set of cases, assessed as “best practices” of decision making has shown that they perform rather effective in terms of meeting sustainability goals. As expected, their effects in social sphere were highest and most positive, the contribution towards environmental goals generally high, but sometimes ambiguous, while the economic effects could sometimes be assessed as rather long-term and redistributive.
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