Can public engagement democratize environmental policymaking in a resource dependent state? Comparative case studies from Alberta Canada

Laurie E. Adkin, Lorelei L. Hanson, David Kahane, John R. Parkins & Steve Patten - 2017

What factors shape the democratic potential of public consultation in environ- mental policymaking? Here, the motivations, purposes, designs, and outcomes of recent public engagement on land use planning, climate change policy, and water resource management in Alberta, Canada are reviewed in order to show how the power dynamics of the political and economic context shape the democratic potential of public and stakeholder consultations, especially where dominant resource interests are at stake. At the same time, political leadership, interactions between civil society actors and key design elements are shown to be important to democratization.