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Public participation in the marine spatial planning process : lessons learned from theoretical, legal, and empirical perspectives

Guo, Yuchen


Yuchen Guo


Richard, 1972 Barnes

Vesco Paskalev


Public participation is a crucial component in environmental decision-making. The accepted wisdom is that participatory decision-making is a good thing. However, there is no single solution for designing and implementing public participation. The participation pattern in the marine planning context should be different from those applied in other decision-making processes in order to address the particular challenges and demands of marine management. Few studies have focused on public participation in marine planning, especially in the English marine planning context. This thesis fills this knowledge gap by studying public participation in English marine planning from theoretical, legal and empirical perspectives.

This thesis addresses three research questions. First, what is the appropriate participation strategy for English marine planning? Second, to what extent does the current legal regime ensure effective public participation in marine planning and other marine-related decision-making? Third, how have the requirements for participation been implemented in marine planning practices?

To investigate these questions, this thesis constructs a pluralist rationale for participation, including normative, substantive and instrumental dimensions, which fits the English marine planning context. The appropriate strategy for participation is identified. This strategy will contribute to fulfil the pluralist rationale for participation in marine planning process. The thesis also reviews the relevant legal framework at the international and domestic levels, to examine to what extent these legal regimes can support the implementation of public participation in the marine decision-making context. Finally, as a qualitative case study, the process and outcome of participation in producing the English East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans are evaluated to reveal the deficiencies regarding participation in the English marine planning regime.


Guo, Y. (2017). Public participation in the marine spatial planning process : lessons learned from theoretical, legal, and empirical perspectives. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Law
Public URL
Additional Information School of Law and Politics, The University of Hull
Award Date Oct 1, 2017


Thesis (3.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Guo, Yuchen. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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