The Hanford Advisory Board: participatory democracy, technology, and representation

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The Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) is a broadly representative, deliberative body that provides formal policy advice on Department of Energy (DOE) proposals and decisions at the Hanford nuclear cleanup site near Richland, Washington. Despite considerable skepticism about the effectiveness of citizen advisory boards, we contend that the HAB offers promising institutional innovations. Drawing on our analysis of the HAB’s formal advice as well as our interviews with board members and agency officials, we explore the HAB’s unique design, outline a normative framework for evaluating participatory institutions, and assess the HAB’s effectiveness in rendering the DOE accountable to the local public.
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