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A Policy Analysis Perspective on Ecological Restoration

Susan Baker, Cardiff School of Social Sciences/Sustainable Places Institute, Cardiff University
Katarina Eckerberg, Department of Political Science, Umeň University

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05476-180217

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Abstract

Using a simple stages model of the policy process, we explore the politics of ecological restoration using an array of examples drawn across sector, different size and scale, and from different countries. A policy analysis perspective reveals how, at both the program and project levels, ecological restoration operates within a complex and dynamic interplay between technical decision making, ideologies, and interest politics. Viewed through the stages model, restoration policy involves negotiating nature across stages in the policy making process, including agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. The stages model is a useful heuristic devise; however, this linear model assumes that policy makers approach the issue rationally. In practice, ecological restoration policy takes place in the context of different distributions of power between the various public and private actors involved at the different stages of restoration policy making. This allows us to reiterate the point that ecological restoration is best seen not only as a technical task but as a social and political project.

Key words

ecological restoration; interests and values; policy cycle; stages model
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087