The natural resource management literature stresses the need for public participation and community involvement in resource management and planning. Recently, some of this literature turned to the theory on deliberative democracy and demonstrated that a deliberative perspective on participation can help to challenge established practices and contribute with new ideas about how to conduct participation. The purpose of this paper is to consider the latest developments in deliberative democracy and outline the implications arising from these insights for a "deliberative turn" in resource management. A bottom-up protected area establishment, the Goricko Landscape Park, is examined. The empirical case is discussed from a discursive perspective, which relied on John Dryzek's approach to discourse analysis here used to explore the construction of discourses on the use of local natural resources. Two discourses are identified and the way these interfaced with the participatory park establishment process is considered. Findings indicate that advocates of the two discourses engaged differently with the participatory tools used and this had important implications for the park establishment. The case study suggests that, in contexts where participation has been recently introduced, knowledge of discourses on the use of local natural resources and of mobilization strategies actors may pursue could usefully assist in the design and implementation of participatory processes.
- citizen participation
- impact assessment