Combining participatory mapping with Q-methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems

Forrester, John, Cook, Brian, Bracken, Louise J., Cinderby, Steve and Donaldson, Andrew (2015) Combining participatory mapping with Q-methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems. Applied Geography, 56. pp. 199-208. ISSN 0143-6228

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It is readily accepted that understanding socio-environmental challenges requires consideration of multiple stakeholder perspectives and knowledge claims. But a largely ignored question is ‘how best to analyse those competing perspectives and claims?’. This paper explores the development of one GIS-based methodology – and reports on its application – to understand and map stakeholder knowledge. We find that combining Q-methodology with participatory mapping helps to overcome a significant problem in social engagement: representing the unclear connection between what people say or do and their underlying attitudes, values or beliefs. The paper is based on a reflexive engagement with flood management and natural adaptive capacity in the Scottish-English Borderlands. The paper confirms how such topics can benefit from an appreciation of the wide range of stakeholders' positions, as well as the underlying beliefs informing those positions. Most importantly, we provide an account of our methodology, offering a template for others interested in unpacking complex socio-environmental issues.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The Authors would like to acknowledge Liz Oughton at the Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, UK, who was PI of the Managing Borderlands project and Chris Spray of the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, Scotland, who facilitated Brian Cook's involvement in this work through funding from the Scottish Government.
Uncontrolled Keywords: GIS, Flood management, Wicked problems, Mixed-methods, Participation, Q-method
Subjects: D500 Forestry
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
H200 Civil Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 07:37
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 08:00

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