Ortwin Renn Thomas Wehler Peter Wiedemann In late July of 1992 the small and remote mountain resort of Morschach in the Swiss Alps became a lively place of discussion, debate, and discourse. Over a three-day period twenty-two analysts and practitioners of public participation from the United States and Europe came together to address one of the most pressing issues in contemporary environmental politics: How can environmental policies be designed in a way that achieves both effective protection of nature and an adequate representation of public values? In other words, how can we make the environmental decision process competent and fair? All the invited scholars from academia, international research institutes, and governmental agencies agreed on one fundamental principle: For environmental policies to be effective and legitimate, we need to involve the people who are or will be affected by the outcomes of these policies. There is no technocratic solution to this problem. Without public involvement, environmental policies are doomed to fail.The workshop was preceded by a joint effort by the three editors to develop a framework for evaluating different models of public participation in the environmental policy arena. During a preliminary review of the literature we made four major observations. These came to serve as the primary motivation for this book. First, the last decade has witnessed only a fair amount of interest within the sociological or political science communities in issues of public participation.