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Agenda-setting and power in collaborative natural resource management

  • NORMAN DANDY (a1), STEFANO FIORINI (a2) and ALTHEA LYNN DAVIES (a3)
Summary

Collaborative management is a widely accepted means of resolving conflict amongst natural resource stakeholders. Power sharing is central to most conceptualizations of collaboration, but theoretical insights about power are only rarely used to interrogate collaborative processes. Agenda-setting theory was used to analyse cases of collaborative deer management in England, Scotland and Indiana (USA). Collaborative management agendas across scales and social contexts were found to be primarily set by contextual factors, particularly stakeholders drawing on specific cultures and policies, and pre-defining issues. These findings highlight significant gaps between the theory and practice of collaboration. If, in practice, substantial power has been wielded in advance, the capacity of subsequent collaborative processes to share power amongst stakeholders may be severely limited. To provide opportunities for differing cultural perspectives to be expressed and challenged, convenors of collaborative processes therefore need to be aware of and reflexive upon existing power relationships and structures.

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Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr Norman Dandy Tel: +44 1420 526228 e-mail: norman.dandy@forestry.gsi.gov.uk
References
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Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
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