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Employing the citizens' jury technique to elicit reasoned public judgments about environmental risk: Insights from an inquiry into the governance of microbial water pollution

Citation
Fish R, Winter M, Oliver D, Chadwick DR, Hodgson CJ & Heathwaite AL (2014) Employing the citizens' jury technique to elicit reasoned public judgments about environmental risk: Insights from an inquiry into the governance of microbial water pollution, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57 (2), pp. 233-253.

Abstract
Devising policy instruments and interventions that can manage and mitigate the risks associated with microbial watercourse pollution is a significant concern of the contemporary environmental protection agenda. This paper reports on the work of a citizens' jury that sought to elicit reasoned public judgments about the nature and acceptability of these risks as they relate to the role of livestock farming, and what might constitute socially acceptable and sustainable pathways to their management. By exploring this issue through a logical and sequential process of risk characterisation, risk assessment and risk management, the paper reveals how citizens' juries can be used to contextualise and structure science-policy apprehensions of microbial watercourse pollution, and highlight where priorities for innovation and intervention might lie. Reactions and responses of participants to the jury process and its outputs, including issues of social and practical impact of the exercise, are also considered. The jury technique is argued to be useful in the way it cuts across disparate domains of responsibility and expertise for the governance of environmental risks, and therein challenges decision makers to think more broadly about the political, moral and economic framings of otherwise narrowly conceived science-policy problems.

Keywords
water quality; livestock farming; risk assessment; public participation; citizens' jury

StatusPublished
AuthorsFish Robert, Winter Michael, Oliver David, Chadwick Dave R, Hodgson Chris J, Heathwaite A Louise
Publication date2014
Publication date online08/01/2013
Date accepted by journal05/10/2012
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0964-0568
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management: Volume 57, Issue 2 (2013)

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