chapter  5
35 Pages

Assessing the quality of different MCDA methods

ByAndrea de Montis, Pasquale De Toro, Bert Droste-Franke, Ines Omann and Sigrid Stagl

The awareness that environmental problems have a large impact on the economy and society has risen continuously during the last three decades. Lifting sustainable development to the political agenda nurtured the understanding that policy analysis is characterized by conflicting economic, environmental, societal, technical, and aesthetic objectives. Consequently numerous research projects on the interdependence of environment, society and economy were conducted in this period. With increasing knowledge about the economic and environmental processes and their interlinkages, it became clear that decisions about environmental problems are especially characterized by uncertainties, high stakes, urgency, and dispute (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1990). These characteristics influence the choice of the method.