Political Representation and Coastal Zone Management: A Case Study of Decision Rules and Voting

Mark S. Rosentraub

DOI: 10.2190/XAC5-YMC2-0MQU-69YH


The interest in managing coastal resources has required the development of new administrative programs. A frequent goal of many of these management agencies is the representation of viewpoints from governments located adjacent to the water and those located further from the land-water interface. This balancing of local and regional needs is a critical feature for most agencies and an important area of concern for individuals developing coastal agencies.

The notion that representation based on a wider geographical scale will result in a better reflection of the public interest is based on frequently accepted perspectives. To examine whether or not these assumptions are valid for coastal zone management, 1100 different votes by one regional commission in California were analyzed. The examination, although limited, offers some support for the position that the procedures developed for selecting coastal commissioners in California did produce some voting differences between local and regional representatives.

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