Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Regional restrictions on environmental impact assessment approval in China: the legitimacy of environmental authoritarianism
    Zhu, X. ; Zhang, L. ; Ran, R. ; Mol, A.P.J. - \ 2015
    Journal of Cleaner Production 92 (2015). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 100 - 108.
    public-participation - politics - implementation - management - democracy - power - law
    The poor enforcement and effectiveness of environmental impact assessment (EIA) on construction and investment projects in China has long been blamed for not preventing environmental pollution and degradation. At the same time, freezing EIA approval of all new projects in an administrative region, introduced in 2006 as a punishment for failing to meet regional environmental quality targets, has been regarded as an innovative administrative instrument used by higher level environmental authorities on local governments. But it also raised controversies. Applying an environmental authoritarianism perspective, this study analyzed the legitimacy and environmental effectiveness of freezing EIA approval procedures by reviewing all 25 national cases and 12 provincial cases of so-called EIA Restrictions Targeting Regions between 1 December 2006 and 31 December 2013. The results show that such an environmental authoritarian measure is to some extent environmentally effective but lacks legality and transparency towards and participation of third parties, and hence falls short in legitimacy. Legal foundations and wider third party participation are essential for the long term effectiveness of this policy and its transfer to other countries.
    Representing the common goods – stakeholders vs. citizens
    Soma, K. ; Vatn, A. - \ 2014
    Land Use Policy 41 (2014). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 325 - 333.
    public-participation - environmental-policy - foundations - incentives - economics - risk
    Whereas participatory processes have been advised as decision support to environmental management worldwide, the way different ways of organizing them influence outcomes of such processes have not been sufficiently addressed. In this study we reflect on two specific types of framings for participatory processes by examining one case dominated by stakeholders and another facilitating deliberation among citizens. Both processes concern coastal zone management in Norway. Whilst the main aim of the paper is to address how the framing of a participatory process influences its form and content, we also emphasize the distinct differences in outcomes from the two processes. Our analyses show that people are clearly acknowledging that there is a difference between acting as a citizen and as a stakeholder, and finding it unproblematic to identify themselves with such roles. Based on the findings, we reflect on their significance because fostering such logic throughout participatory processes may enhance our capacity to think both more long term and more principally about which values to protect.
    Moving out or living on a mound? Jointly planning a Dutch flood adaptation project
    Roth, D. ; Winnubst, M. - \ 2014
    Land Use Policy 41 (2014). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 233 - 245.
    water management - risk-management - public-participation - climate-change - land-use - netherlands - governance - policy
    All over the world spatial flood risk management policies are on the rise. This paper analyses the planning process for the Overdiepse polder, a so-called “Room for the River” project in the Netherlands. After high water in the 1990s, the Dutch government changed its flood risk management policy. While before 2000 it leaned heavily on dikes to separate water from land, after that year spatial measures to “let the water flow” were introduced. This required the integration of two formerly separated policy domains: flood risk management and land use planning. In the densely populated and economically highly developed Netherlands, returning space to the river unavoidably impacts on the lives and livelihoods of those who live and work along the rivers. Therefore, such spatial measures to decrease flood risk have to be negotiated with various stakeholders. The planning process towards making the Overdiepse polder suitable for temporary water storage deserves more in-depth analysis. We describe and analyze the development of relationships between key actors in the planning process, with a focus on planning practices rather than on assumptions about the existence of certain types and qualities of relationships. We conclude, among others, that citizen involvement can, under specific socio-political and institutional conditions, build trust among stakeholders and increase local legitimacy for interventions by government agencies. However, it should not be idealized as “self-governance” or assumed to be part of a unidirectional change in water interventions towards new relationships between actors.
    Social Learning, Natural Resource Management, and Participatory Activities: A reflection on construct development and testing
    Rodela, R. - \ 2014
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 69 (2014). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 15 - 22.
    deliberative democracy - public-participation - impact assessment - comanagement - innovation - lessons - trust
    This analysis reflects on the use of multidimensional constructs for the study of social learning in natural resource management. Insight from deliberative democracy and adult learning literature are used to ground the identified four dimensions (the moral dimension the cognitive dimension, the relational dimension and trust). Then, a selection of empirical cases is surveyed with the aim to develop and understanding how well the empirical outcomes reported by these sit against the insights borrowed from the deliberative democracy and pedagogy literature. The paper concludes with some recommendations for future research.
    Comparative analysis of policies to deal with wildfire risk
    Carreiras, M. ; Ferreira, A.D.J. ; Valente, S. ; Fleskens, L. ; Gonzales-Pelayo, O. ; Rubio, J.L. ; Stoof, C.R. ; Coelho, C.O.A. ; Ferreira, C.S.S. ; Ritsema, C.J. - \ 2014
    Land Degradation and Development 25 (2014)1. - ISSN 1085-3278 - p. 92 - 103.
    public-participation - forest owners - fire regimes - management - portugal - perspective - examples - impacts - system - region
    Fires are the main driver of land degradation in forest areas in Mediterranean sub-humid regions and are likely to increase as a result of climate and other global changes. To prevent deleterious processes induced by fire, several policies and strategies have been implemented at national and regional scales. We perform a comparative study of policies and strategies of Portuguese and Spanish (Comunitat Valenciana) cases in order to assess the differences between them and identify their roles in forest fire prevention and in combating and mitigating impacts. To this end, we analyse the sustainability objectives stated in the legislation of each country to identify the strategies used to deal with forest fires and the extent to which they are integrated to achieve the sustainability objectives they pursue. The comparative analysis includes an assessment of sustainability, evaluated by the explicitness of the objectives, and identification of how the lines of action contribute to reach these objectives. We found different levels of complexity and that the adoption or rejection of some of the techniques is closely related to the tradition and the experience of local communities. This analysis highlights the importance of local characteristics and the stakeholders, involvement in designing effective strategies to reduce fire risk
    Participatory Development and Reconstruction: a literature review
    Kyamusugulwa, P.M. - \ 2013
    Third World Quarterly 34 (2013)7. - ISSN 0143-6597 - p. 1265 - 1278.
    community-driven development - collective action - popular participation - public-participation - elite capture - power - management - accountability - benchmarking - livelihoods
    In the past decade researchers and development experts have been preoccupied by participatory development and reconstruction. Despite criticisms of its potential, it has been at the centre of development practices. This review of both published and unpublished literature aims to assess the importance of participatory development and reconstruction, especially its positive and negative characteristics. The paper shows that, despite its potentially transformative role, its main drawback rests in the power relations between elites and non-elites and that creating comprehensible ways through which non-elites can deal with these relations is one issue that needs additional research. Other issues that need more research are related to how to sustain the participatory development and reconstruction outcomes by increasing local ownership, and how to better involve existing structures and institutions (both state and non-state actors) in development and reconstruction efforts for poverty alleviation.
    The social learning discourse: trends, themes and interdisciplinary influences in current research
    Rodela, R. - \ 2013
    Environmental Science & Policy 25 (2013). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 157 - 166.
    natural-resource management - deliberative democracy - public-participation - ethical leadership - impact assessment - river-basin - policy - organizations - comanagement - perspective
    The literature on social learning advances a critique to the command-and-control approach to resource management, and often, this critique is made by borrowing insights and ideas from disciplines other than resource management, which led to certain conceptual and methodological turns that now characterise the social learning discourse. This paper is based on an extensive survey of the social learning literature; ninety-seven studies were reviewed and classified by the type of natural resource, its geographical location, type of application and related aspects, which helped to identify some general trends. Disciplinary influences that contributed to shape the research are analysed and discussed. The findings suggest that social learning research is issue-driven and that some types of natural resources and geographical areas prevail over others. This study finds that deliberative democracy, pedagogy and research of complex adaptive systems have contributed the most to shaping the current conceptual base of the discourse. Interdisciplinary engagement, as well as choices in terms of what has been borrowed and how the borrowed concepts have been used, help to explain the heterogeneity of frameworks and definitions in the social learning literature
    Implementation and Participation in China's Local Environmental Politics: Challenges and Innovations
    Kostka, G. ; Mol, A.P.J. - \ 2013
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 15 (2013)1. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 3 - 16.
    public-participation - governance - enforcement
    With its recently published 12th Five-Year Plan (FYP, 2011–2015) China’s leaders have set ambitious national environmental targets and goals for developing a more sustainable economy and society. Past records, however, show that ambitious goals and regulations too often fail due to shortcomings in local implementation and civil society participation. At the sub-national level, economic, political, and social interests continue to dictate the political agenda and the participation of non-state actors remains limited. This article analyses these implementation and participation gaps and reviews recent innovations and experiments to address these gaps in local environmental politics in China. Although many ongoing experiments and new institutional arrangements can be identified, these projects and initiatives remain limited in scope and geographical spread. Further advances in policy enforcement and in opening up policy design to citizens and other non-state actors at the local level are needed in order to turn the article ambitions of the 12th FYP into reality.
    Advancing the deliberative turn in natural resource management: An analysis of discourses on the use of local resources
    Rodela, R. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 96 (2012)1. - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 26 - 34.
    public-participation - citizen participation - impact assessment - democracy - slovenia - policy - power
    The natural resource management literature stresses the need for public participation and community involvement in resource management and planning. Recently, some of this literature turned to the theory on deliberative democracy and demonstrated that a deliberative perspective on participation can help to challenge established practices and contribute with new ideas about how to conduct participation. The purpose of this paper is to consider the latest developments in deliberative democracy and outline the implications arising from these insights for a "deliberative turn" in resource management. A bottom-up protected area establishment, the Goricko Landscape Park, is examined. The empirical case is discussed from a discursive perspective, which relied on John Dryzek's approach to discourse analysis here used to explore the construction of discourses on the use of local natural resources. Two discourses are identified and the way these interfaced with the participatory park establishment process is considered. Findings indicate that advocates of the two discourses engaged differently with the participatory tools used and this had important implications for the park establishment. The case study suggests that, in contexts where participation has been recently introduced, knowledge of discourses on the use of local natural resources and of mobilization strategies actors may pursue could usefully assist in the design and implementation of participatory processes.
    A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for Sustainable Land Management
    Schwilch, G. ; Bachmann, F. ; Valente, S. ; Coelho, C. ; Moreira, J. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Aderghal, M. ; Santos, P. ; Reed, M.S. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 107 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 52 - 63.
    public-participation - decision-support - governance - comanagement - environment - bolivia - india - slm
    There are many, often competing, options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Each must be assessed and sometimes negotiated prior to implementation. Participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches to identification and selection of SLM options are increasingly popular, often motivated by social learning and empowerment goals. Yet there are few practical tools for facilitating processes in which land managers may share, select, and decide on the most appropriate SLM options. The research presented here aims to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation/learning in SLM decision-making processes. The paper describes a three-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options that was tested in 14 desertification-prone study sites within the EU-DESIRE project. Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and selection of appropriate SLM options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process starting with SLM goal setting was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, though not an initial aim, it fostered social learning in many cases. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable in a wide range of contexts and may be implemented with limited time and resources. .
    An analysis of the methodological underpinnings of social learning research in natural resource Management
    Rodela, R. ; Cundill, G. ; Wals, A.E.J. - \ 2012
    Ecological Economics 77 (2012)5. - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 16 - 26.
    post-normal science - ecological economics - public-participation - complex-systems - sustainability - perspective - pluralism - valuation
    This analysis is focused on research that uses a social learning approach to study natural resource issues. We map out the prevailing epistemological orientation of social learning research through the de-construction of the methodological choices reported in current social learning literature. Based on an analysis of 54 empirical investigations of social learning and natural resources published after peer review, we investigated aspects of research design that include data collection methods, evidence types and the researcher's role. We consider these against different research-orientations (positivist, interpretive, critical, and post-normal). We discuss which research-orientation appears most congruent with the overall commitment and premises of social learning studies. In line with initial expectations this study shows that positivist stances are hardly present, however research that follows a postnormal approach is less frequent than initially assumed. Instead, findings suggest that researchers using a social learning perspective to study resource issues tend to choose methodologies that allow for in-depth descriptions, for meaning making and enquiry as a form of action.
    Local Community Participation in Italian National Parks Management: Theory versus Practice
    Buono, F. ; Pediaditi, K. ; Carsjens, G.J. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 14 (2012)2. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 189 - 208.
    protected area management - citizen participation - public-participation - nature conservation - stakeholder theory - decision-support - risk-assessment - network - implementation - perceptions
    The need for participation of local communities in the management of protected areas (PAs) is widely acknowledged, and its implementation is viewed as an indicator of sustainable practice. Such participation is increasingly mentioned in the recent European Union (EU) policy and legislation, yet little statutory guidance and few minimum requirements are available. Italy, as an EUMember State, has committed itself to incorporate participation in PA management. However, to date, there has been no assessment of how participation has materialized in practice. This paper presents the results of an investigation of participatory practices focusing specifically on local community involvement in Italian National Park management. The investigation is based on a review of the stateof- the-art theory on participation in PA management, specifically addressing the following questions: what levels of participation are preferable, what methods should be utilized in order to enable effective PA management and who should participate? The results show a discrepancy between best practice theory and practice for the case of Italy. More importantly, the results indicate the need for the development of practical guidance and a common participation framework for PA management in Europe
    The value of cultural theory for participatory processes in natural resource management
    Hoogstra, M.A. ; Permadi, D.B. ; Yasmi, Y. - \ 2012
    Forest Policy and Economics 20 (2012)July. - ISSN 1389-9341 - p. 99 - 106.
    grid-group theory - risk perception - climate-change - public-participation - forest management - framework - systems - design - policy - power
    Participation is viewed as an important means for promoting the sustainable management of natural resources. However, participation is not always successful. Conflicting values and power inequalities are all factors that can severely undermine participatory processes. Where so far the main focus of research has been on power imbalances and conflicting interests, this article focuses on another source of conflict, i.e. differing views of reality and underlying cultural biases. Research states that cultural theory (CT), which subdivides the divergent notions of reality into four worldviews (hierarchism, individualism, egalitarianism, fatalism), could be a useful tool to gain insight in conflicting views of reality and the consequences of these conflicting views for participatory processes. To investigate the value of CT for participation, a study in Java (Indonesia) was carried out to determine to what extent worldviews can be used to predict preferred strategies in forestry problems. The results show that an empirical identification of worldviews was possible. These worldviews however do not automatically explain how individuals address forestry problems. This might be because of the difficulty of measuring worldviews in relation to individuals' strategies. It might also be that CT's explanatory capacity is overestimated. In either case, we can conclude that CT the way it is used now is not the instrument that will help us solving the problems in participatory processes.
    From cohesion to conflict in participatory forest management: The case of Ouémé Supérieur and N'Dali (OSN) forests in Benin
    Idrissou Aboubacary, L. ; Paassen, A. van; Aarts, N. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2011
    Forest Policy and Economics 13 (2011)7. - ISSN 1389-9341 - p. 525 - 534.
    social cohesion - public-participation - urban governance - conversations - netherlands - policies - india
    Community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) was introduced in Benin in the early 1990s. Because of the initially positive results, the Forest Department decided to continue and scale up this participatory approach to all Benin's protected areas. Focusing on the relationships between the actors involved, this paper seeks to explain the dynamics of the participatory management process in the Ouémé Supérieur and N'Dali forests in Northern Benin. The analysis is based on data gathered from interviews with the different actors involved. The study shows that social cohesion between people involved in CBNRM, the Forest Rangers and local communities was built at the beginning of the process, but then disappeared and was followed by conflict. Stakeholders interpreted and made sense of formally declared participatory management rules (formal institutions) and gradually developed informal relationships, rules and routines (informal institutions) that facilitated the collaboration process and resulted in social cohesion. Conflicts and distrust emerged when replacement CBNRM officers did not respect the informal rules of conduct. The case shows that it is the state of informal rules and relationships that determines the success of a collaborative process rather than formally declared institutions; hence this should be recognized.
    Informal Participatory Platforms for Adaptive Management. Insights into Niche-finding, Collaborative Design and Outcomes from a Participatory Process in te Rhine Basin
    Moellenkamp, S. ; Lamers, M.A.J. ; Huesmann, C. ; Rotter, S. ; Pahl-Wostl, C. ; Speil, K. ; Pohl, W. - \ 2010
    Ecology and Society 15 (2010)4. - ISSN 1708-3087 - p. 41 - 41.
    social-ecological-systems - water-resources management - public-participation - citizen participation - transitions - resilience - governance - mechanisms
    New regulatory water management requirements on an international level increasingly challenge the capacity of regional water managers to adapt. Stakeholder participation can contribute to dealing with these challenges because it facilitates the incorporation of various forms of knowledge and interests into policy-making and decision-making processes. Also, by providing space for informal multistakeholder platforms, management experiments can be established more easily in rigid regulatory settings, allowing for social learning to take place. Stakeholder participation is currently stipulated by several legal provisions, such as the Water Framework Directive, which plays an increasingly important role in European water management. Drawing on recent experiences in a participatory process in the German Dhuenn basin, a sub-basin of the river Rhine, we explored the interplay of informal and formal settings in a participatory process. To what degree can we allow for openness and catalyze social learning in participatory processes grounded in formal management structures? To what degree can results of informal processes have an impact on practice? We analyzed three major challenges related to this interplay: (1) the niche-finding process to establish a participatory platform; (2) the co-design process by water management practitioners, researchers and consultants; and (3) the tangible outputs and learning. We found that niches for the establishment of informal participatory platforms can occur even in a rigid and strongly structured administrative environment. Further, our case study shows that collaborative process design fosters dealing with uncertainties. We conclude that in an effective participatory process, a balance should be struck between informality and formal institutional structures to catalyze experimentation and learning and to ensure that process results have an impact on management decisions
    Identifying uncertainty guidelines for supporting policy making in water management illustrated for Upper Guadiana and Rhine Basins
    Keur, P. van der; Brugnach, M. ; Dewulf, A. ; Refsgaard, J.C. ; Zorilla, P. ; Poolman, M.I. ; Isendahl, N. ; Raadgever, G.T. ; Henriksen, H.J. ; Warmink, J.J. ; Lamers, M.A.J. ; Mysiak, J. - \ 2010
    Water Resources Management 24 (2010)14. - ISSN 0920-4741 - p. 3901 - 3938.
    multicriteria evaluation - public-participation - quality-assurance - bayesian networks - flood management - model - identification - perspectives - methodology - netherlands
    In recent years, guidelines have been developed for supporting water managers in dealing with uncertainty in integrated water resources management (IWRM). Usually such guidelines have concentrated on certain aspects of processes in IWRM, notably on uncertainty associated with the modelling process and monitoring data. While this is of undisputed importance for supporting water managers in making well balanced and informed decisions, less attention has been paid to guiding policy makers in where uncertainty may emerge when considering the whole water management process. In this paper it is assessed in what way the policy makers can benefit from support in accounting for uncertainty at various stages in the water management process. Point of departure is an analysis of a broad range of uncertainty guidelines and their categorization in the water management process using a recently developed framework. Emphasis is on linking sources of uncertainty to uncertainty guidelines from an applied point of view in water management by developing a way to assist water managers to deal with uncertainty in IWRM and make informed and robust decisions. To support this, the Upper Guadiana basin in Spain and three Rhine basins are used as cases for water management issues in which it is demonstrated how water managers potentially can benefit from uncertainty guidelines in support of policy making, for instance with respect to implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD)
    Socio-technical PSS development to improve functionality and usability - Sketch planning using a Maptable
    Vonk, G.A. ; Ligtenberg, A. - \ 2010
    Landscape and Urban Planning 94 (2010)3-4. - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 166 - 174.
    public-participation - support-systems - requirements - gis - visualization - information - design - gap
    Planning Support Systems (PSS) for collaborative sketch planning have not become widely used in planning practice. Important reasons are inadequate functionality and usability. In this article we question if following a socio-technical method in PSS development could lead to PSS with better functionality and usability than following a traditional systems engineering method, as is sometimes suggested in literature. The former method involves close cooperation with users, whereas the latter does not. This article describes an empirical study of this question. The article describes the development, application and evaluation of two PSS for sketch planning, one developed by following the traditional systems engineering method and the other by following the socio-technical method. The PSS integrate drawing and sketching with basic geographic information system functionality and use an innovative hardware interface called Maptable. The evaluation results show that the traditionally developed PSS was immediately rejected by planning practitioners due to poor functionality and usability, whereas the PSS developed with a socio-technical approach was much more acceptable. Intense cooperation with users in agreement with the socio-technical method appeared to improve the analysis of planning tasks and user needs, leading to a PSS with a sophisticated and dedicated architecture. This PSS was considered more functional and usable than the traditionally developed PSS. In addition, the socio-technically developed PSS offers some benefits over conventional planning methods. In current state the PSS is suitable for use by professionals, and it is being further developed aiming to make it suitable for supporting collaborative planning with citizens
    Examining power struggles as a signifier of successful partnership working: A case study of partnership dynamics
    Derkzen, P.H.M. ; Bock, B.B. ; Franklin, A. - \ 2008
    Journal of Rural Studies 24 (2008)4. - ISSN 0743-0167 - p. 458 - 466.
    public-participation - rural-development - government - exclusion
    In Britain, and Wales particularly, inclusion and equal opportunities for all became key principles guiding the work of the many partnerships that were established at the beginning of this century. A primary objective of this paper is to develop a greater understanding of the politics and processes within `partnership¿ as a widely used governance instrument. We argue that rather than dismissing partnerships for their exclusionary mechanisms, they might be considered as distinctive `arenas of power¿ where the emphasis on participation and consensus shapes power relations in particular ways. What we demonstrate, using a differentiated topology of power [Allen, J., 2003. Lost Geographies of Power. Blackwell Publishing], is the effect that different modes of power, at different times, can have on social interaction and the process of partnership working. Although inequality in terms of resources existed in our study, we show that effective partnership working was enhanced at times when more reciprocal modes of power were used. We conclude, therefore, that an analysis of power based on resources alone is limited because the use and effect of resources may be ¿modified, displaced or disrupted depending upon the relationships that come into play¿ [Allen, J., 2003. Lost Geographies of Power. Blackwell Publishing, p. 97]. Hence, there is a need for more research on power struggles and conflicts in partnerships over time. Only then it is possible to see how and when differences in resources affect social interaction and result in different levels of (in)equality. A partnership cannot be seen simply as an indirect instrument of a dominant government actor to control organisations and individuals.
    Communicating Risks and Benefits from Fish Consumption: Impact on Belgian Consumers' Perception and Intention to Eat Fish
    Verbeke, W. ; Vanhonacker, F. ; Frewer, L.J. ; Sioen, I. ; Henauw, S. de; Camp, J. van - \ 2008
    Risk Analysis 28 (2008)4. - ISSN 0272-4332 - p. 951 - 967.
    sport-caught fish - cardiovascular-disease - chemical contaminants - quantitative-analysis - public-participation - dietary-intake - social trust - health-risk - fatty-acids - food risks
    Communicating about the health effects of fish and seafood may potentially result in a conflict situation: increasing intake is desirable because of health and nutritional benefits, but higher consumption may also lead to an increased intake of potentially harmful environmental contaminants. In order to anticipate the communication challenge this conflict may pose, the research presented here aimed to assess the impact of risk/benefit communication on Belgian consumers' fish consumption behavior and fish attribute perception. Data were collected in June 2005 from a sample of 381 women, aged between 20 and 50 years. An experimental design consisting of four message conditions (benefit-only; risk-only; benefit-risk; and risk-benefit) combined with three information sources (fish and food industry; consumer organization; government) was used. Exposure to the benefit-only message resulted in an increase from a self-reported fish consumption frequency of 4.2 times per month to an intended fish consumption frequency of 5.1 times per month (+21%), while fish attribute perceptions only marginally improved. The risk-only message resulted in a strong negative perceptual change in the range of two points on a seven-point scale. This translated into an 8% decrease of behavioral intention (from eating fish 4.5 times per month to an intention of eating fish 4.1 times per month). Balanced messages referring to both risks and benefits yielded no significant change in behavioral intention, despite a significant worsening of fish attribute perception. The presentation order of benefits and risks in the balanced message showed a tendency to affect both behavioral intention and attribute perception, with the first message component being most influential. Information source did not yield any significant impact either on behavioral intention or on attribute perceptions, independent of the message content. The results from this study provide valuable insights for future risk/benefit and balanced communication about seafood.
    Perceptions of food risk management among key stakeholders: Results from a cross-European study
    Kleef, E. van; Frewer, L.J. ; Chryssochoidis, G.M. ; Houghton, J.R. ; Korzen-Bohr, S. ; Krystallis, T. ; Lassen, J. ; Pfenning, U. ; Rowe, G. - \ 2006
    Appetite 47 (2006)1. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 46 - 63.
    risk/benefit perception - public-participation - social trust - attitudes - expert - consumption - benefits - beliefs - hazards - safety
    In designing and implementing appropriate food risk management strategies, it is important to examine how key stakeholders perceive both the practice and effectiveness of food risk management. The objective of this study is to identify similarities and differences in perceptions of, and attitudes to, food risk management practices held by consumers and experts with an interest in food safety. Focus groups were conducted in five European countries chosen for their (hypothesised) cultural differences in attitudes towards risk: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Slovenia and the UK. Content analysis was carried out on the resulting texts and (sub) categories were identified within the analysis framework to facilitate the capture of emerging themes. Five key themes were identified as common to the perceptions of both consumers and experts, although these are not represented in the same way by both groups. These key themes are: (1) efforts made by the responsible authorities to manage food risks; (2) responsibility for prevention and management of food risks; (3) how priorities are established within regulatory systems; (4) scientific progress and its implications for food risk management; and (5) media attention and food safety incidents. Although some similarities emerged between the groups, differences were also identified. For example, experts appeared to be highly negative about media influences, whereas consumers appeared more indifferent about media influences and motives. These different perspectives need to be addressed in order to reduce the perceptual distance between key stakeholders, and in particular, to enhance consumer confidence in the food risk management system. Based on the study findings, recommendations for food risk management policies are outlined.
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