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Citizens' participation in local environmental protection system

Author(s): Čikić Jovana

Journal: Sociologija
ISSN 0038-0318

Volume: 54;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 549;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: citizens’ participation | environmental protection system | local community | Novi Sad

Changes in theoretical approach but also practice of planning environmental protection brought forth the issue of citizens’ participation. Active citizens’ participation is particularly stressed at the local environmental protection system because local community is considered as a framework of citizens’ everyday life. At the same, capacity for citizens’ participation is determined by interactions of three factors: a) general social conditions, b) characteristics of environmental protection system and c) characteristics of citizens’ environmental awareness. The analysis, based on the results of the empirical research, is focused on role of citizens as social actors in environmental protection system at the local community level (city of Novi Sad). The research starts from the premise that although there is an elementary citizens’ environmental awareness, its manifest dimension is not well developed primarily due to the to lack of tradition in political participation, but also inadequate cooperation with relevant institutions within the system, as well as hierarchy of everyday life problems that citizens have to deal with that, for the most of them, do not leave enough space and motives for the engagement of this kind. The purpose of this paper is to depict factors that stimulate or inhibit needs and capacities for citizens’ participation within the processes of defining, decision making and implementation of decisions important for environmental protection.

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