Excluding to include: (Non)participation in Mexican natural resource management
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- Peterson, N.D. Agric Hum Values (2011) 28: 99. doi:10.1007/s10460-010-9258-x
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Participatory processes are often intended to encourage inclusion of multiple perspectives in defining management means and goals. However, ideas about the legitimacy of certain uses and users of the resources can often lead to exclusion from participation. In this way, participation can be transformed from a process of inclusion of various resource users to one of exclusion. Using a case study from a marine protected area in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and drawing on work in deliberative democracy, I present a typology of how individuals and groups can be excluded from participation. External exclusion includes non-invitation and other means for keeping participation from occurring. Internal exclusion refers to exclusionary events during participatory meetings. This analysis suggests that participation needs to be recognized as a valuable but easily manipulated tool in the design of projects like natural resource management.