Skip to Main Content
Participatory democracy, representative democracy, and the nature of diffuse and concentrated interests: A case study of public involvement on a national gorest districtAuthor(s): Christine Overdevest
Source: Society & Natural Resources, 13: 685-696
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (653 KB)
DescriptionTo evaluate whether public involvement on a national forest district fairly represents the public's values, this article proposes four hypothesis tests. First, it is hypothesized that public-involvement programs operute according to a participatory democracy logic, in which broad cross sections of the public participate in public involvement opportunities. A second hypothesis is tested that public involvement rejects a representative democracy process in which interest groups participate yet represent the underlying distribution of issue interests of the public at large. Recuuse the findings indicate that interest groups do outcompete the public in participation, two additional perspectives are entertained. A political economic perspective is considered that posits that the incentive structure characterizing different interests defines participation. This perspective is contrasted with a perspective that argues that environmental "elites" prevail in participation and in the process misrepresent the public's values. Tests are made to adjudicate between alternative hypotheses. The findings and their implications for democratic public involvement and decision making are considered.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationOverdevest, Christine. 2000. Participatory democracy, representative democracy, and the nature of diffuse and concentrated interests: A case study of public involvement on a national gorest district. Society & Natural Resources, 13: 685-696
Keywordsdiffuse and concentrated interests, enviromental attitudes and elitism, participatory and representative democracy
- Social Interaction in Adventure Recreation Participation
- Results of community deliberation about social impacts of ecological restoration: comparing public input of self-selected versus actively engaged community members
- Agencies within communities, communities within ecosystems
XML: View XML