The Hanford Advisory Board: A Case Study in Democracy, Technology, and Representation

44 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012 Last revised: 10 May 2016

See all articles by Alex Sager

Alex Sager

Portland State University

Alex Zakaras

University of Vermont - Department of Political Science

Date Written: January 16, 2014

Abstract

The Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) is a broadly representative, deliberative body that provides formal policy advice on Department of Energy (DOE) proposals and decisions at the Hanford nuclear cleanup site near Richland, Washington. Despite considerable skepticism about the effectiveness of citizen advisory boards, we contend that the HAB offers promising institutional innovations. Drawing on our analysis of the HAB’s formal advice as well as our interviews with board members and agency officials, we explore the HAB’s unique design, outline a normative framework for evaluating participatory institutions, and assess the HAB’s effectiveness in rendering the DOE accountable to the local public.

Keywords: Political theory, democracy, political participation, deliberation, bureaucracy, technology

Suggested Citation

Sager, Alexander and Zakaras, Alex, The Hanford Advisory Board: A Case Study in Democracy, Technology, and Representation (January 16, 2014). Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 4 (2): 142-55, 2014, DOI:10.1007/s13412-013-0160-x. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2105113

Alexander Sager (Contact Author)

Portland State University ( email )

PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207
United States

Alex Zakaras

University of Vermont - Department of Political Science ( email )

United States

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