Regimes of justification: competing arguments and the construction of legitimacy in Dutch nature conservation practices

Irma Arts*, Arjen Buijs, Gerard Verschoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Legitimacy of environmental management and policies is an important topic in environmental research. Based on the notion of ‘regimes of justification’, we aim to analyse the dynamics in argumentations used to legitimize and de-legitimize Dutch nature conservation practices. Contrary to prior studies, we demonstrate how actors in two locations where environmental disputes arose showed little willingness to switch between arguments in order to reach a compromise. Instead, some actors constructed incompatibilities between arguments in order to delegitimize competing actors. Especially in the visioning phase, institutional actors emphasized technical efficiency, planning and global environmentalism, and arguments related to emotional accounts, inspiration and locality were de-legitimized. In the discussion, we argue that it is not the formal or informal inclusion of the actors in the process, but the construction of the legitimacy of their arguments that determines the inclusiveness and outcome of the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1084
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume61
Issue number5-6
Early online date1 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2018

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