Inquiring into activist publics in chronic environmental issues: Use of the mutual-gains approach for breaking a deadlock

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Public Affairs, 2015, 15 (4), pp. 404 - 422
Issue Date:
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© 2015 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. This study aims to understand different publics' communicative behaviors for problem solving surrounding an oil spill issue in Korea. Specifically, it explores the differences between chronic activists and other types of publics who were affected by this chronic environmental issue. A total of 24 interviews were conducted, from which five different types of publics were identified. The findings suggest that the majority of activists who are currently working on the issue are closed-chronic activists, which are slightly different from Ni and Kim's findings on chronic activists' communicative behaviors. Interviews were also conducted with five communication experts to propose viable conflict resolution strategies for the issue. The mutual-gains approach is recommended as a viable organization-public conflict resolution strategy.
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