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Fitness for purpose: English nature's use of deliberative and inclusionary processes in the delivery of nature conservation policy

Studd, Katherine Louise; (2003) Fitness for purpose: English nature's use of deliberative and inclusionary processes in the delivery of nature conservation policy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis explores the use of deliberative and inclusionary processes (DIPs) in nature conservation policy, using England's statutory nature conservation advisor, English Nature, as the focus. While there is increasing pressure for publicly-funded organisations such as EN to incorporate DIPs into their operations, there is little understanding within these organisations of how to apply these approaches in a way that is compatible with their responsibilities. The concept of Fitness for Purpose is presented as a structuring framework to explore English Nature's use of DIPs in the context of its statutory responsibilities and institutionalised approaches, as well as the changing socio-political and conservation agendas in which the organisation is situated. A case study of the River Avon is used to explore the influences of the institutional, organisational and local situational contexts on the design and management of a DIP to develop a river conservation strategy and deliver the Habitats Directive. Despite the rhetoric of partnership and community involvement within EN's activities, the use of DIPs has been limited. An interview-based analysis of English Nature as an organisation identifies cultural barriers to the institutionalisation of DIPs. Nevertheless, research findings indicate that a transition is in progress within English Nature towards a culture that places greater emphasis on creative and proactive stakeholder engagement. This is in part a response to opportunities associated with 'deliberately inclusionary' policy agendas such as quality of life to integrate biodiversity objectives into wider policy arenas. However, the use of DIPs in delivering biodiversity targets and securing the management of designated sites is constrained by the influence of top-down performance targets and the 'deliberately exclusionary' nature of conservation legislation. The research questions the extent to which the use of DIPs in the delivery of nature conservation policy can ever meet normative standards of best practice in deliberation and inclusion.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Fitness for purpose: English nature's use of deliberative and inclusionary processes in the delivery of nature conservation policy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099928
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