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Exploring a nature-related conflict from a capability perspective

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  • Griewald, Yuliana
  • Rauschmayer, Felix
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    Abstract

    Using the capability approach, we analyse a recent conflict around nature conservation in the city of Leipzig, Germany. Following its concept of flood protection, a state authority felled thousands of trees in a highly popular nature protection area, which culminated in public protests and lawsuits against the state authority. This analysis has a twofold aim: (1) to better understand the conflict at hand, and (2) to explore the advantages and limitations of using the capability approach for addressing such a nature-related conflict involving collective actors. Our analysis of the actors' positions and interplay between them goes along the lines of the capability approach and gives insight into the conflict from a freedoms perspective. We use qualitative research methods to examine the case, relying upon semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders as well as a document analysis. The capability approach offers a freedom-agency lens and proves to be helpful in analysing the conflict; however, to understand the case better, certain process-specific variables absent from a typical capability formation framework have to be considered as well. -- Wir benutzen den Capability- (Verwirklichungschancen-)Ansatz, um einen kürzlichen Naturschutzkonflikt in der Stadt Leipzig zu analysieren. Hier ließ eine staatliche Verwaltung im Rahmen ihres Konzepts von Hochwasserschutz Tausende Bäume in einem sehr beliebten Schutzgebiet fällen, was Proteste von Bürgern und Naturschutzverbänden auslöste. Unsere Analyse hat ein doppeltes Ziel: Wir wollen sowohl den Konflikt als auch die Vorzüge und Grenzen des Capability-Ansatzes besser verstehen, einen solchen naturbezogenen Konflikt mit kollektiven Akteuren anzugehen. Unsere Analyse der Akteurspositionen und -zusammenhänge vollziehen wir demzufolge an der Struktur des Capability-Ansatzes, was Einblick in den Konflikt aus einer freiheitsbetonenden Perspektive verschafft. Wir benutzen qualitative Forschungsmethoden um den Fall zu untersuchen, genauer gesagt: halbstrukturierte Interviews mit zentralen Stakeholdern wie auch eine Dokumentenanalyse. Der Capability-Ansatz bietet einen Blickwinkel, der Freiheit und menschliches Handeln in den Mittelpunkt stellt und sich als fruchtbar bei der Analyse des Konflikts erweist. Um alle wesentlichen Aspekte erfassen zu können, müssen jedoch weitere Variablen hinzugefügt werden, die typischerweise bei Capability-Analysen fehlen.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS) in its series UFZ Discussion Papers with number 7/2013.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ufzdps:72013

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    1. Sneddon, Chris & Howarth, Richard B. & Norgaard, Richard B., 2006. "Sustainable development in a post-Brundtland world," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 253-268, May.
    2. P. B. Anand, 2007. "Capability, Sustainability, and Collective Action: An Examination of a River Water Dispute," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 109-132.
    3. Frances Cleaver, 2007. "Understanding Agency in Collective Action," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 223-244.
    4. Solava Ibrahim, 2006. "From Individual to Collective Capabilities: The Capability Approach as a Conceptual Framework for Self-help," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 397-416.
    5. Jerome Ballet & Jean-Luc Dubois & FranCois-Regis Mahieu, 2007. "Responsibility for Each Other's Freedom: Agency as the Source of Collective Capability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 185-201.
    6. Frances Stewart, 2005. "Groups and Capabilities," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 185-204.
    7. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ron Smith, 2005. "Capabilities and Well-Being: Evidence Based on the Sen–Nussbaum Approach to Welfare," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 9-55, October.
    8. Ballet, Jérôme & Bazin, Damien & Dubois, Jean-Luc & Mahieu, François-Régis, 2011. "A note on sustainability economics and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1831-1834, September.
    9. Polishchuk, Yuliana & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2012. "Beyond “benefits”? Looking at ecosystem services through the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 103-111.
    10. Blackstock, K.L. & Waylen, K.A. & Dunglinson, J. & Marshall, K.M., 2012. "Linking process to outcomes — Internal and external criteria for a stakeholder involvement in River Basin Management Planning," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 113-122.
    11. Rauschmayer, Felix & Leßmann, Ortrud, 2011. "Assets and drawbacks of the CA as a foundation for sustainability economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1835-1836, September.
    12. Matthew Longshore Smith & Carolina Seward, 2009. "The Relational Ontology of Amartya Sen's Capability Approach: Incorporating Social and Individual Causes," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 213-235.
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