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Title: Hold the line or give in to the sea? : deliberative citizen engagement in governance to adapt to sea level rise on the shoreline
Author: Liski, Anja Helena
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 8508
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Shorelines, including the Inner Forth in Scotland, are facing unprecedented challenges with climate change. Rising sea levels mean that stakeholders need to work closely to deliver adaptation, such as the nature-based option of intentionally realigning shorelines landwards to give the sea more space. Drawing from workshops, interviews and surveys with citizens living on the shores of the Inner Forth, and semi-structured interviews with locally active organisations and land-owners, this thesis examines the governance context and methodological issues of citizen engagement in adaptation, with a focus on the use of participatory valuation tools. In particular, I develop citizen-oriented methodological options for integrated and deliberative valuation to address issues of inclusivity and knowledge gaps. The novelty of the deliberative valuation presented here is based on the explicit consideration of awareness gaps from both expert and local perspectives. The results show that even though emerging collaborative institutions are broadening the spectrum of stakeholders engaged in shoreline governance, they do not yet include representative groups of citizens. Empirical material presented here suggests that bridging the citizen engagement gap would potentially support the uptake of nature-based adaptation options, enhance legitimacy of decision-making processes, and bring other-regarding moral principles and biocentric values into decision-making. However, as the valuation results from the citizen workshops illustrate (in resonance with the central tenets of the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), commonly applied valuation methods may be too narrow in their framing to capture plural values and world views. Furthermore, the ability of citizens to engage in adaptation is limited by knowledge gaps regarding the local area and the pressures it is facing. The deliberative citizen-oriented approach to valuation developed here led to the emergence of clearer priorities, improved choice model fit and participant confidence, providing empirical evidence to support the premise that deliberation builds citizens' ability to engage in adaptation. In addition to contributing empirical insights on how adaptation governance is unfolding on local scales, this thesis responds to methodological discussions on the use of valuation for citizen engagement in three main ways: 1) it demonstrates that the choice of value framings impacts the engagement outcomes; 2) it illustrates how deliberative valuation can shape citizens' attitudes towards the uptake of adaptation measures; 3) it provides evidence of the specific role that local knowledge plays in improving the outcomes of deliberative valuation.
Supervisor: Metzger, Marc ; Wilson, Meriwether ; Dexter, Kyle Sponsor: European Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: shorelines ; Inner Forth ; seascapes ; sea level change ; climate change ; seawalls ; decision-making ; citizen engagement ; awareness gap