Value-laden technocratic management and environmental conflicts

The case of the New York City watershed controversy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental controversies are often framed as conflicts between environmentalist and antienvironmentalist positions. The underlying dimensions of ethics and justice tend to be overlooked. This article seeks to integrate insights from environmental ethics and sociological observations through a case study of a watershed conflict. A controversy emerged in the 1990s when residents of the New York City (NYC) watershed filed a lawsuit to block NYC's proposed regulations for the land surrounding the streams and reservoirs that supply NYC's drinking water. The conflict was resolved after NYC agreed to provide economic development funds to the watershed towns in exchange for accepting the regulations. An analysis of interviews with NYC watershed town supervisors reveals that the conflict was resolved because underlying competing theories of justice were addressed. This contradicts the popular narrative that an environmental conflict can be resolved when competing parties come to the realization that natural ecosystems provide valuable water-purification services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-112
Number of pages32
JournalScience Technology and Human Values
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Fingerprint

Watersheds
management
Values
town
justice
Supervisory personnel
environmental ethics
regulation
water
Potable water
Ecosystems
lawsuit
Purification
Economics
moral philosophy
Environmental conflict
Watershed
Environmental Conflict
resident
narrative

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Cite this

@article{8809425b3fdf4f2682ce776f3656e700,
title = "Value-laden technocratic management and environmental conflicts: The case of the New York City watershed controversy",
abstract = "Environmental controversies are often framed as conflicts between environmentalist and antienvironmentalist positions. The underlying dimensions of ethics and justice tend to be overlooked. This article seeks to integrate insights from environmental ethics and sociological observations through a case study of a watershed conflict. A controversy emerged in the 1990s when residents of the New York City (NYC) watershed filed a lawsuit to block NYC's proposed regulations for the land surrounding the streams and reservoirs that supply NYC's drinking water. The conflict was resolved after NYC agreed to provide economic development funds to the watershed towns in exchange for accepting the regulations. An analysis of interviews with NYC watershed town supervisors reveals that the conflict was resolved because underlying competing theories of justice were addressed. This contradicts the popular narrative that an environmental conflict can be resolved when competing parties come to the realization that natural ecosystems provide valuable water-purification services.",
author = "Glenna, {Leland Luther}",
year = "2010",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0162243909340268",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "81--112",
journal = "Science Technology and Human Values",
issn = "0162-2439",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Value-laden technocratic management and environmental conflicts

T2 - The case of the New York City watershed controversy

AU - Glenna, Leland Luther

PY - 2010/1/1

Y1 - 2010/1/1

N2 - Environmental controversies are often framed as conflicts between environmentalist and antienvironmentalist positions. The underlying dimensions of ethics and justice tend to be overlooked. This article seeks to integrate insights from environmental ethics and sociological observations through a case study of a watershed conflict. A controversy emerged in the 1990s when residents of the New York City (NYC) watershed filed a lawsuit to block NYC's proposed regulations for the land surrounding the streams and reservoirs that supply NYC's drinking water. The conflict was resolved after NYC agreed to provide economic development funds to the watershed towns in exchange for accepting the regulations. An analysis of interviews with NYC watershed town supervisors reveals that the conflict was resolved because underlying competing theories of justice were addressed. This contradicts the popular narrative that an environmental conflict can be resolved when competing parties come to the realization that natural ecosystems provide valuable water-purification services.

AB - Environmental controversies are often framed as conflicts between environmentalist and antienvironmentalist positions. The underlying dimensions of ethics and justice tend to be overlooked. This article seeks to integrate insights from environmental ethics and sociological observations through a case study of a watershed conflict. A controversy emerged in the 1990s when residents of the New York City (NYC) watershed filed a lawsuit to block NYC's proposed regulations for the land surrounding the streams and reservoirs that supply NYC's drinking water. The conflict was resolved after NYC agreed to provide economic development funds to the watershed towns in exchange for accepting the regulations. An analysis of interviews with NYC watershed town supervisors reveals that the conflict was resolved because underlying competing theories of justice were addressed. This contradicts the popular narrative that an environmental conflict can be resolved when competing parties come to the realization that natural ecosystems provide valuable water-purification services.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=73249114078&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=73249114078&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0162243909340268

DO - 10.1177/0162243909340268

M3 - Article

VL - 35

SP - 81

EP - 112

JO - Science Technology and Human Values

JF - Science Technology and Human Values

SN - 0162-2439

IS - 1

ER -