The interminable issue of effectiveness: substantive purposes, outcomes and research challenges in the advancement of environmental impact assessment theory

Matthew Cashmore, Richard Gwilliam, Richard Morgan, Dick Cobb, Alan Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)
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An analysis of studies of the outcomes of environmental impact assessment (EIA) indicates that its role in consent and design decisions is limited, due primarily to passive integration with the decision processes it is intended to inform. How much EIA helps sustainable development is largely unknown, but it is hypothesised that it is more than is typically assumed, through a plethora of causes, including emancipation of stakeholders and incremental change in the bureaucracy, companies and scientific institutions. To enhance the effectiveness of EIA, research should focus more on theory about the nature and operation of diverse causal processes, even though the concepts, methods and analytical challenges would be substantial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages16
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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