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The Problem of Inclusion in Deliberative Environmental Valuation

Andrés Vargas, Alex Lo, Michael Howes, Nicholas Rohde

Environmental Values 26 (2017): 157-176. doi: 10.3197/096327117X14847335385472

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The idea of inclusive collective decision-making is important in establishing democratic legitimacy, but it fails when citizens are excluded. Stated-preference methods of valuation, which are commonly used in economics, have been criticised because the principle of willingness to pay may exclude low-income earners who do not have the capacity to pay. Deliberative valuation has been advocated as a way to overcome this problem, but deliberation may also be exclusive. In this review, two deliberative valuation frameworks are compared. The first is grounded on the idea of rational discourse that emphasises argument at the expense of other communicative strategies. It seeks to secure inclusion through procedural rules and prerequisites, but fails to address the underlying democratic limitation of argumentation. The second does not rely on the distinction between rational and rhetorical speech, and therefore admits alternative forms of communication. This approach recognises differences in the communicative capacities and practices of those who take part in deliberation, and so is better equipped to improve, though not to guarantee, inclusion.


Deliberative monetary valuation, inclusion, democracy, environmental valuation, communicative rationality

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Nature Advocacy and the Indigenous Symbol. Mihnea Tanasescu

More or Less Pluralistic? A Typology of Remedial and Alternative Perspectives on the Monetary Valuation of the Environment.Alex Y. Lo

Conceptions of Value in Environmental Decision-Making John O'Neill and Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Knowledge, Expertise and Engagement. Stewart Barr

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