Finding Meaning in a Complex Environment Policy Dispute: Research into Worldviews in the Northern Forest Lands Council Dialogue, 1990-94




Crocker, Jarle
Docherty, Jayne

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School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


“Among the different types of social conflict that have been studied by social scientists, disputes over the environment have been recognized as uniquely rich avenues for intellectual - inquiry. Often occurring at the intersection of complex economic, social, legal, political, and ecological issues, environmental conflicts also evoke deeply held values that lie at the core of many individual and group identities. The nature of community, the definition of the good life, and the meaning of the relationship between humans and nature are only a few of the prominent questions commonly raised by these disputes, These deeply rooted philosophical issues are not easy to address under any circumstances. Since they clearly do not lend themselves to technical analysis or easy resolution, policy managers may not even acknowledge them, much less welcome their inclusion in public dialogue. Embedded in intense, high stakes policy conflicts, they are easily lost altogether.”