A pluralistic perspective on the intractability of the International Joint Commission's Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River study
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Public Affairs
How to Cite
Trowbridge, J. G. (2013), A pluralistic perspective on the intractability of the International Joint Commission's Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River study. J. Publ. Aff.. doi: 10.1002/pa.1497
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 19 SEP 2013
As environmental public participation has become increasingly mandated worldwide, its advantages and disadvantages have been widely documented. This article uses qualitative analysis of documentation and interviews with 40 participants in a US–Canadian International Joint Commission water management controversy. It demonstrates how ambiguity and diffuse power—that is, two characteristics of organizational pluralism—revealed in communication and governance contribute to the challenges of resolving the 13-year controversy. The article adds to the literature that has largely focused on power disparities between governing or managing organizations and stakeholders and makes recommendations for addressing situations involving organizational and scientific ambiguity as well as relatively equal distribution of power. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.