Environmental Policy: The Current Paradigm

  • Cynthia H. Stahl
  • Alan J. Cimorelli
Part of the Risk, Systems and Decisions book series (RSD)


Written for public policy practitioners and interested public policy stakeholders, this is a book about the challenges of public policy decision making that are not being met by current approaches. Applying the principles and lessons learned from the literature on decision analytic methods, stakeholder participation approaches, and public policy making, an innovative but feasible methodology for environmental decision and public policy making is unveiled. The Multi-criteria Integrated Resource Assessment (MIRA) approach provides a policy decision analytic interface between the social and physical sciences that was previously unavailable. Stakeholder inclusiveness, transparency, learning, scientific data usage, the construction of social and scientific indicators, and addressing uncertainty are overlaid across the common set of steps that are used in all multi-criteria decision making. This book challenges the current science-based decision making paradigm that the rational and objective application of scientific data alone constitutes the ideal decision making process. Effective environmental policy making requires meeting stakeholder goals by balancing science and values. This book examines current policy decision making processes and presents some dilemmas that can impede finding policy solutions. Proceeding from the conceptual to the practical, this book includes a final word on the policy implications of viewing commonly used indices through the MIRA lens.


Public policy process Decision making Environmental management Stakeholder involvement Uncertainty analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia H. Stahl
    • 1
  • Alan J. Cimorelli
    • 2
  1. 1.US EPAPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.US EPA (retired)PhiladelphiaUSA

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