Strange bedfellows: ecosystem services, conservation science, and central government in the United Kingdom

Ricky Neil Lawton, Murray Alan Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Natural Environment White Paper represents the most important shift in conservation policy in the United Kingdom for over 20 years. It formalizes the ecosystem services approach within policy objectives and emphasizes the economic value of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services approach embodies different meanings to different groups, each suggesting distinct governance paradigms and management tools. While conservationists’ support for the ecosystem services approach may stem from arguments for integrated and holistic management of natural systems, valuation efforts seek to apply economic tools to complex ecosystem processes as a means of increasing the policy salience of ecosystem services for management. Does this coupling make for strange bedfellows? We apply the Advocacy Coalition Framework to examine the alignment of the values and beliefs of key United Kingdom actors. Understanding core and peripheral values may help actors anticipate where cooperation and conflict arise, and the potential longevity of policy partnerships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-127
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • ecosystem approach; ecosystem services; policy change; advocacy coalitions; conservation policy

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