Public Spheres for Deliberation on Nature? Democratic Qualities of Visitor Centres in Sweden

Abstract

In this paper we explore in which ways and to what extent Swedish visitor centres in protected sites work as forums for public deliberation on environmental issues, such as nature conservation and natural resource management. By hosting deliberations on nature in nature the deliberation process is connected to its materiality. Nature interpretation sessions at three such centres, called naturum, were analysed to achieve a picture that displays the range of content and formats of these guided tours. To explore their deliberative democratic potential, we also examine how these nature interpretation sessions relate to societal and democratic issues in different ways. The conclusions are that naturum has an underdeveloped capacity to serve as a communicative forum for public deliberation on the environment and that the new national guidelines for naturum may contribute to renewed roles of the guide and the visitor in interpretive sessions, in which the citizen will be in focus.

Keywords

Sweden, interpretation, environment, nature, public sphere, democracy, Deliberation

How to Cite

Caselunghe E. & Bergeå H. & von Essen E., (2019) “Public Spheres for Deliberation on Nature? Democratic Qualities of Visitor Centres in Sweden”, Journal of Public Deliberation 15(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.316

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Authors

Elvira Caselunghe (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Hanna Bergeå (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Erica von Essen (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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