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Major Conference Topics

The sessions of the symposium shall be organized around the following major topics and questions:

Instrumental effects of decision making by means of direct democracy on the environment

  • How do ballot box decisions influence land use plans, urban growth policies, open space conservation, biodiversity?
  • How do such decisions impact environmental policies and goals e.g. water policies, emission reduction policies, energy policies, climate policies?
  • Do decisions being made by means of direct democracy support the achievement of environmental policy objectives or do they in contrast sometimes even hinder (e.g. achieving renewable energy generation targets)?
  • Does direct democracy lead to compromises which result in harmony amongst involved stakeholders but include tradeoffs and negative effects for the environment?
  • ...

Instrumental effects of decision making by means of direct democracy on planning cultures and public involvement processes

  • Does ballot box voting on land-use and environmental topics influence planning cultures and if yes, how?
  • How does it affect formal public involvement processes and approaches in environmental impact assessments (EIA, SEA) and other planning/permission processes (land-use planning, growth management...)?
  • What is the intention behind using means of direct democracy in decision-making on environmentally relevant topics (initiating/supporting, preventive)?
  • ...

Spillover or educative effects of direct democracy and their relevance for environmental issues

  • How does direct democratic decision-making influence environmental interest groups and stakeholders?
  • How does it affect membership and engagement in environmental NGOs?
  • Which role do environmental NGOs have in direct democratic decision-making?
  • Does direct democratic decision-making influence citizens’ knowledge and interest in environmental topics?
  • ...

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