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Article

A Healthy Metaphor? The North Sea Consultation and the Power of Words

1
Faculty of Science, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, 2311 EZ Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Department of Values, Technology and Innovation, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aled Jones
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212905
Received: 22 October 2021 / Revised: 12 November 2021 / Accepted: 18 November 2021 / Published: 22 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics of Climate Adaptation)
The North Sea Consultation was set up to resolve conflicting claims for space in the North Sea. In 2020, this consultation process resulted in the North Sea Agreement, which was supported by the Dutch Parliament and cabinet as a long-term policy; however, the fishing sector felt excluded, left the consultation process, and does not support the agreement. Using semi-constructed interviews and the method of wide reflective equilibrium, this research found that in this conflict the metaphor of ‘health’ has played a decisive role. While all stakeholders want to keep the sea ‘healthy’, they disagree on what a healthy sea actually means, leading to contrastive positions on the desirability of trawler fishing, wind parks, and conservation areas—the North Sea Agreement’s main foci of interest. To prevent the unproductive escalation of such a conflict, it is inevitable to acknowledge the moral connotations of such metaphors, as this allows a decision-making process that can be considered more just. View Full-Text
Keywords: North Sea agreement; North Sea consultation; metaphors; ecological health; fishery; offshore wind energy; wicked problems; political negotiation processes North Sea agreement; North Sea consultation; metaphors; ecological health; fishery; offshore wind energy; wicked problems; political negotiation processes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Geukes, H.; Pesch, U.; Correljé, A.; Taebi, B. A Healthy Metaphor? The North Sea Consultation and the Power of Words. Sustainability 2021, 13, 12905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212905

AMA Style

Geukes H, Pesch U, Correljé A, Taebi B. A Healthy Metaphor? The North Sea Consultation and the Power of Words. Sustainability. 2021; 13(22):12905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212905

Chicago/Turabian Style

Geukes, Haye, Udo Pesch, Aad Correljé, and Behnam Taebi. 2021. "A Healthy Metaphor? The North Sea Consultation and the Power of Words" Sustainability 13, no. 22: 12905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212905

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