Getting the safe minimum standard to work in the real world: A case study in moral pragmatism

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Abstract

There is growing endorsement of local stake-holder conventions to resolve unusual environmental disputes. The conventions are separate decision-making bodies designed to by-pass conventional institutions. The hazards of a stake-holder convention which is overly-detached from conventional decision-making leads to a discourse that never successfully confronts the value controversies which the stake-holder convention is charged to resolve. A case study uncovers obvious and robust strategic manipulations of stake-holder conventions that intrude on value dialogue. An appeal to the safe minimum standard rules of Ciriacy-Wantrup, updated to engage this question, successfully corrects some of the more egregious stumbling blocks to good faith dialogue in local discourse. The proposed constraints on the stake-holder convention can be quite directive, authoritative and bureaucratic, yet the constraints are necessary to preserve good faith conduct within the dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalEcological Economics
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Endangered Species Act
  • Moral pragmatism
  • Safe minimum standard
  • Stake-holder

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