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12 - Citizen participation and developing country agendas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Kilaparti Ramakrishna
Affiliation:
Deputy Director Woods Hole Research Center (Woods Hole, MA, USA)
Bernd Kasemir
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
Jill Jäger
Affiliation:
International Human Dimensions Programme, Bonn
Carlo C. Jaeger
Affiliation:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Matthew T. Gardner
Affiliation:
Biogen Inc.
William C. Clark
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
Alexander Wokaun
Affiliation:
Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
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Summary

Introduction

This chapter seeks to provide a blueprint for carrying out the type of analysis that underpinned many of the earlier chapters in this book with reference to developing countries. In addressing the role that citizens can play in sustainability debates, it discusses the roles played both domestically and internationally by civil society representatives, the scientific community, and governmental representatives in developing countries.

A couple of disclaimers at the outset. Material in this chapter is not the result of any long-term assessment like that which has underpinned the content of many of the chapters in this book. (It does, however, draw on over two decades of the author's experience in dealing with these issues.) As is clear, many of the book's chapters present an interesting set of observations culled from a project that spanned several countries and hundreds of individuals. It contains important lessons for all those interested in public participation in sustainability science albeit largely with a “European” perspective.

The first question addressed here in this regard is the feasibility of this approach for developing countries. This includes expectations as to the potential outcome and of course the usefulness of the results in making better connections between the general public, the scholarly community and the policy-makers in the developing world. Once these connections are made, it can be expected that they will help negotiators to be better prepared in including views of their countries' general public and scholarly community when adopting international agreements, and when preparing their domestic implementation.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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