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Exploring a nature-related conflict from a capability perspective

  • Griewald, Yuliana
  • Rauschmayer, Felix
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    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.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/75213/1/74938302X.pdf
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    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. 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.
    2. Frances Cleaver, 2007. "Understanding Agency in Collective Action," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 223-244.
    3. 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.
    4. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ron Smith, 2004. "Capabilities and Wellbeing: Evidence Based on the Sen-Nussbaum Approach to Welfare," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 47, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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. 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.
    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. Polishchuk, Yuliana & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2012. "Beyond “benefits”? Looking at ecosystem services through the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 103-111.
    12. Frances Stewart, 2005. "Groups and Capabilities," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 185-204.
    13. Breena Holland, 2008. "Ecology and the Limits of Justice: Establishing Capability Ceilings in Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 401-425.
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