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Publication - Dr Margherita Pieraccini

    Rethinking participation in environmental decision-making

    Epistemologies of marine conservation in South-East England


    Pieraccini, M, 2015, ‘Rethinking participation in environmental decision-making: Epistemologies of marine conservation in South-East England’. Journal of Environmental Law, vol 27., pp. 45-67


    This article presents some fresh reflections on participation in environmental decisionmaking by focussing on the case of newly designated Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The article draws on empirical research conducted by the author with South-East fishermen, considering their perceptions of the designation process. Julia Black's distinction between 'thin' and 'thick' proceduralisation serves as a theoretical basis to explain fishermen's perceptions of the process of designation of MCZs but it is then complemented by observations on knowledge construction and representation, following critical social sciences writings on nature conservation. The argument put forward is that the process of designation of MCZs is an example of 'thin' proceduralisation and that a move towards 'thicker' forms would benefit from acknowledging the existence of multiple knowledges within each participant and from deconstructing the dichotomy between socio-economic and ecological aspects in thinking about conservation.

    Full details in the University publications repository