Conceptualizing desertification in Southern Europe: stakeholder interpretations and multiple policy agendas

Juntti, Meri ORCID logoORCID: and Wilson, Geoff A. (2005) Conceptualizing desertification in Southern Europe: stakeholder interpretations and multiple policy agendas. European Environment, 15 (4) . pp. 228-249. ISSN 0961-0405 [Article] (doi:10.1002/eet.381)


This paper explores the link between agricultural, environmental and structural policies and desertification in Southern Europe. The focus is on the way policy goals evolve in the implementation process and become translated into actions at the operative level. The results derive from policy stakeholder interviews from four research areas situated in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The significance of policies as drivers of desertification varies between the case study areas, and harmful land management practices often result from power imbalances between interest groups involved in land-use planning and policy implementation rather than from flaws in the policies themselves. The vagueness of the definition of what ‘desertification’ constitutes allows for different interpretations of its nature, significance and the consequent weight it is given in land management decision-making, thus lending itself to be both misinterpreted and misappropriated by different stakeholder interests. The paper discusses the interplay between five different discourses of desertification and four distinct agendas of policy implementation and land use. The agendas either enhance or mitigate desertification and represent the interests of actors who have acquired a powerful position in the network of stakeholders, often relying on, and simultaneously maintaining, discourses and structures that lend them first right to decision-making over the natural resources of the locality. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Interpretations of desertification; policy implementation; policy agendas; Mediterranean; stakeholder interests
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 12435
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Depositing User: Meri Juntti
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 08:14
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:29

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