Talking the Walk to Sustainable Development: Public Sphere Deliberation and Sustainable Development Policy Outcomes in Mexico
Abstract: This dissertation investigates the relationship between elements
of deliberative democracy and the sustainable development implications of coastal land use
policies in Mexico. It seeks to answer the following question: how do the dynamics of
public sphere deliberation and participatory transmission mechanisms affect the content of
enacted land-use related policies? An examination of ... read morethe current laws regulating
participation in environmental and land use policymaking in Mexico reveals that there are
multiple avenues for public participation in policymaking at the federal, state, and
municipal levels. The first of three cases - the planning and development of Cancun - is
examined using secondary sources. It was characterized by a lack of public deliberation
and participation. This was associated with poor environmental and social outcomes. In the
second case, discourses are analyzed in the urban development plan for the town of Puerto
Morelos. Public sphere discourses are examined by means of an analysis of newspaper
articles from two regional newspapers based in Cancun. It is shown that public
participation generated ideas for the urban development plan that were beneficial to
sustainable development, but these ideas were not incorporated into the final policy, as
public officials failed to take the outcomes of participation into account. In the third
case, a series of policies regulating mangrove ecosystem protection is examined. Public
sphere discourses are analyzed in the form of newspaper articles from two major daily
Mexico City newspapers. Government documents associated with the policies are also
analyzed. It is found that public participation was associated with greater protection for
mangrove ecosystems. The results of the case studies suggest that greater participation -
particularly more deliberative participation - leads to policies that are more likely to
integrate social and environmental concerns, to make use of local knowledge, to address
the concerns of diverse social groups, and to have stronger environmental provision, to
the benefit of sustainable development.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: William Moomaw.
Committee: Adil Najam, Ann Helwege, and Kent Portney.
Keywords: Sustainability, and Political Science.read less