Breaking Boundaries

Innovative Practices in Environmental Communication and Public Participation

Edited by Kathleen P. Hunt, Gregg B. Walker, and Stephen P. Depoe

Subjects: Environmental Studies, Political Communication, Public Policy, Democracy, Public Administration
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Governance: Local-Regional-Global Interactions
Hardcover : 9781438477053, 356 pages, December 2019
Paperback : 9781438477060, 356 pages, July 2020

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: From Public Participation to Community Engagement—and Beyond
Kathleen P. Hunt, Susan Senecah, Gregg B. Walker, and Stephen P. Depoe

Opening Reflections

1. Health, the Environment, and Sustainability: Emergent Communication Lessons Across Highly Diverse Public Participation Activities
Linda Silka, Bridie McGreavy, and David D. Hart

Section I. Exploring Dimensions of Participation Within Policy Frameworks

2. Listening and Learning: Stakeholder Views of Participation and Communication in Forest Planning
Gregg B. Walker, Steve Daniels, Sharon Timko, Carmine Lockwood, and Susan Hansen

3. Rethinking Public Participation: The Case of Public Land Management in the American West
Matthew McKinney

4. Speaking of Place: Analysis of Place-Based Discourse in Participatory Decision Making
Colene J. Lind

5. Cultural Discourses of Public Participation: Insights for Democratic Design and Energy System Transformation
Lydia Reinig and Leah Sprain

6. The Radical Potential of Public Participation Processes: Using Indecorous Voice and Resistance to Expand the Scope of Public Participation
Kathleen P. Hunt, Nicholas S. Paliewicz, and Danielle Endres

Section II. Expanding Pathways of Community Engagement

7. Advancing Practical Theory in Environmental Communication: A Phronetic Analysis of Environmental Participation and Dialogue in New Zealand
Giles Dodson and Anna Palliser

8. Toward Communicative Space: A Maritime Agora of Backrooms and Thoroughfares
Chui-Ling Tam

9. Rare’s Conservation Campaigns: Community Decision Making and Public Participation in Global Contexts
Sarah D. Upton, Carlos A. Tarin, Stacey K. Sowards, and Kenneth C. C. Yang

10. Fracking, the Elsipogtog First Nation, and Disruptive Public Participation: The Role of Images in Amplifying Outrage on Twitter
Molly Simis-Wilkinson and Jill E. Hopke

Section III. Enacting Horizons of Civic Technology

11. Sustainable Stories: Integrated Transmedia as an Ecology of Storymaking
Tyler Quiring

12. Eco-Apps and Environmental Public Participation
Eli Typhina

List of Contributors

Analyzes efforts made by communities and policy makers around the world to push beyond conventional approaches to environmental decision making.


Breaking Boundaries analyzes efforts made by communities and policy makers around the world to push beyond conventional approaches to environmental decision making to enhance public acceptance, sustainability, and the impact of those decisions in local contexts. The current political climate has generated uncertainty among citizens, industry interests, scientists, and other stakeholders, but by applying concepts from various perspectives of environmental communication and deliberative democracy, this book offers a series of lessons learned for both public officials and concerned citizens. The contributors offer a broader understanding of how individuals and groups can get involved effectively in environmental decisions through traditional formats as well as alternative approaches ranging from leadership capacity building to social media activity to civic technology.

Kathleen P. Hunt is Assistant Professor of Communication at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Gregg B. Walker is Professor of Communication at Oregon State University. He is the coauthor of Working through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach (with Stephen E. Daniels) and The Military-Industrial Complex: Eisenhower's Warning Three Decades Later (with Steven J. Sprecher and David A. Bella). Stephen P. Depoe is Professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. He is the coeditor of several books, including Communication and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making (with John W. Delicath and Marie-France Aepli Elsenbeer), also published by SUNY Press.


"The book's premise—of acknowledging how historic modes of communication are at loggerheads with the issues we are facing—is important, especially as issues like climate change become even more complex, raising key questions about where and how public participation takes place. More important, the book raises questions about why public participation is still relevant, needed even, regardless of shifts in communicative technologies." — H-Net Reviews (H-Environment)

"Breaking Boundaries is an enlightening collection … Academics studying environmental communication and/or public policy would do well to have this volume on their shelves." — Technical Communication