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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Orchestration in political processes: Involvement of experts, citizens, and participatory professionals in forest policy making

Kleinschmit, Daniela; Puelzl, Helga; Secco, Laura; Sergent, Arnaud; Wallin, Ida


The overarching aim of this review paper is to investigate the involvement of experts, citizens, and participatory professionals in forest policy decision-making processes. Three interpretations of governance are distinguished to translate the idea of an orchestra to European (forest) policy making processes, referring to Frank Fischer's differentiation between a centralised state guided by administrative and policy experts on the one hand and deliberative governance driven by citizen participation on the other and a form of governance by participation professionals. The review included in total 81 research articles published between 1998 and 2015 addressing participation and expert involvement in forest policy. The results show that governance by participatory professionals is clearly visible in forest policy making processes in Europe mainly involving traditional groups as forest owners. Whether these participation professionals are engaged in a deliberative process with citizens remains unanswered. The results furthermore show a strong involvement of experts though the literature is rather silent as to how this steering of experts evolves in participatory forest processes. Finally the analysis shows that governance by citizen participation is rather neglected in forest policy processes in Europe. It is perceived as difficult to pursue, even at the local level. Therefore this article found nearly no empirical evidence for a so-called citizen's orchestra with the competence to self-align by deliberation. Instead citizens seem to be no part of the orchestra itself, but remain outside as part of the audience.

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2018, Volume: 89, pages: 4-15

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG15 Life on land
      SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication identifier


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