Legitimizing industry and multi-sectoral regulation of cumulative impacts: A comparison of mining and energy development in Athabasca, Canada and the Hunter Valley, Australia
The Alberta oil sands industry and the New South Wales coal industry both faced controversies related to their cumulative impacts. In an attempt to generate hypotheses, we compared their attempts to maintain legitimacy, in its various aspects, for both their industries and the regulatory regimes that evolved as the controversies persisted. Both the existing literature and the two cases suggest that greater use of multi-sectoral stakeholder forums for the governance of cumulative impacts can bolster the legitimacy of both the industry and its regulatory regime, including those aspects handled through self-regulation. The cases suggested the additional hypotheses that (a) the importance of the decisions allocated to the multi-stakeholder regulatory forum affects legitimacy perceptions generally, and (b) the multi-stakeholder approach to regulation does little to bolster legitimacy when stakeholders include activists who are more interested in transnational issues than local cumulative impacts.
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