Participatory Decision Processes


Jaroslav Mysiak
Oliver Zwirner


01/2004 − 12/2006


There are several main reasons for participation of stakeholders or the general public in public decisions: accrued legal provisions as well as normative, substantive and instrumental arguments: the integration of local knowledge can improve the decision process, and participation can increase its legitimacy. This project deals with the question how to integrate participation in decision processes. Stakeholder and public participation is possible on all levels of multi-criteria decision aid: defining goal and criteria, determining decision options, evaluation, aggregation and decision making.

We consider in this project, which differences result on the different levels from different participatory methods, how one could evaluate these, and how they can be integrated in the decision process. The following questions are of special concern to us: How is it possible to consider appropriately the different value positions of the participants during the process? Which possibilities are there to integrate risk, uncertainty and ignorance into participatory processes? How to decide between stakeholder interests and normative guidelines (such as sustainable development)?


  • Rauschmayer, F. (2001). "Reflections on Ethics and MCA in Environmental Decisions." Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 10: 65-74.
  • Rauschmayer, F. and H. Wittmer (submitted). "Evaluating deliberative and analytical methods for the resolution of environmental conflicts." Land Use Policy submitted in May 2004.
  • Wittmer, H., F. Rauschmayer and B. Klauer (accepted). "How to Select Instruments for the Resolution of Environmental Conflicts?" Land Use Policy accepted in September 2003.