In my view, key outcomes of Fiorino(1990)‘s articles are two:
1. evaluate 5 participatory mechanisms(public hearing; initiatives; public surveys; negotiated rule making and citizens review panels)
2. develop a democratic procedure criteria for evaluating these and other participatory approaches.
It said in environmental risk-solving issues, there are more technocratic than democratic orientation in traditional processes(Fiorino,1989). The common thinking is technocratic orientation is not bad, elites like scientific experts can make more rational decisions, consulting interest groups is fairly able to aggregate public interests.
But Fiorino(1990) used three argument as well as three imperatives for democratized participation against technocratic orientation:
Normative argument: From the perspective of ethical rationales, the citizens have the right and expectation to influence the outcome of decisions that affect their lives. It can foster a sense of ownership by providing an equal playing field for the public who are entitled to join the political arena as “better” citizens.
Substantive argument: From the perspective of epistemological rationales, this argument is based on stressing the important role of lay public who may have better capacity or sensitivity to nurture/facilitate the rigorous results of environmental decisions than scientific experts alone.
Instrumental argument: From the perspective of practical rationales, ideally, lay participation (knowledge and experience) incorporated in decision making process may be beneficial to not only enhance the confidence and competence of decisions but also resolve dissent and conflict by building credibility and legitimacy.
Evaluation criteria for democratic participation (relying on his normative grounds):
1. the first criterion is to allow for participation of amateurs rather than professionals/experts alone.(Direct amateurs?)
2.the second criterion is by assessing the extent of collaboration between citizens and governments in decision making.(Share Authority?)
3.the third criterion is by assessing the degree of vis-à-vis discussion through approaches during the certain period.(Discussion?)
4.Final criterion is whether it can address the unequal position between politicians, experts and citizens.(Basis of Equality?)
Fiorino, D. J. (1989). Environmental risk and democratic process: a critical review. Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, 14, 501-547.
Fiorino, D. J. (1990). Citizen Participation and Environmental Risk: A Survey of Institutional Mechanisms. Science, Technology & Human Values, 15(2), 226-243.