The role of value conflict assessment techniques in the formulation of implementable and effective coastal zone management policies

Research Project funded by the European Commission (DGXII-D5) under the 4th Framework Programme
EC Scientific Officer - Dr Angela Liberatore
June 1994 - July 1997


This project was premised on the hypothesis that it is essential that the patterns of value priorities between stakeholding communities are analysed and that coastal management policy processes are integrated with these priorities in order to optimise the potential for the sustainable cooperation of these communities. As such, it is argued that a greater emphasis should be placed on the policy process as opposed to the current approach whereby policies are focused on achieving outcomes that are often based on value laden agendas imposed in a top-down manner.

Accordingly, a comprehensive value conflict assessment and management system (CAGORA) and questionnaire concerning various aspects of the policy process were applied in the context of representative coastal case studies in the UK, Belgium, Spain and Greece. This approach revealed that the willingness of stakeholders to cooperate with coastal management policies was being undermined by current policy approaches, particularly with regards to alienation resulting from agenda imposition and a reliance on command-and-control enforcement techniques. It was further argued that such cooperation could be promoted by systematically taking account of the patterns of value priorities between different stakeholder groups including an analysis of their potential to compromise on specific issues through the application of the CAGORA approach.

Overall, it was concluded that the current paradigm, which is characterised by top-down coastal management agenda setting, outcome-oriented policy formulation with little provision for meaningful community participation and reliance on command-and-control enforcement techniques, does not optimise the potential to achieve the sustainable cooperation of stakeholders, and that process-oriented and participatory conflict management approaches such as CAGORA offer a way forward in that they promote the identification and, more importantly, the sustainable achievement of commonly desired goals.

Davos CA, Side JC, Jones PJS, Siakavara K, La Roca F, Garcia E, Burone F and Kerkhove G, 1997. The Role of Value Conflict Assessment Techniques in the Formulation of Implementable and Effective Coastal Zone Management Policies. A Report to the European Commission (DG XII-D5). Volume 1 - Main Report of the Study. Volume 2 - Appendices: (1) Case Study Reports; (2) The Research Instrument.


Davos, C.A., Jones, P.J.S, Side, J.C. and Siakavara, K., (2002) Attitudes towards participation in cooperative coastal management: four European case studies. Coastal Management 30(3), pp 209-220. Abstract

Davos, C.A., 1999. Sustainable cooperation as the challenge for a new coastal management paradigm. Journal of Coastal Conservation 5(2), 171-180. This paper summarises the VALCOAST project and its findings.

Davos CA, 1998. Sustaining co-operation for coastal sustainability. Journal of Environmental Management 52(4), pp 379-387.

Edwards SD, Jones PJS and Nowell, DE, 1997. Participation in coastal zone management initiatives: a review and analysis of examples from the UK. Ocean and Coastal Management 36(1-3), pp 143-165. Special Issue on Community-Based Coastal Management. Abstract

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This page was last updated by Peter Jones on 29 March 2009.