Tuesday, December 18, 2007
For those interested the conference papers (including three papers I worked on) are available at
Monday, October 22, 2007
At the occasion of the "Water Café" of the Social Sciences Group at Wageningen University, I've prepared an overview of water-related research in which I'm involved. Topics
- Social learning in river basin management planning (www.harmonicop.info). In this project a concept for social learning and collaborative governance has been developed, rooted in the interpretive strands of the social sciences emphasizing the context dependence of knowledge. The role of frames and boundary management in processes of learning at different levels and time scales are investigated.
- Issue framing in multi-actor contexts. E.g. analysis of multi-actor meetings between a university engineering center and indigenous irrigation organization in
- New methods for adaptive water management under uncertainty (www.newater.info). Water managers need to solve a range of interrelated water dilemmas, in a context where human actions and values play a central role. The growing uncertainties of global climate change and the long term implications of management actions make the problems even more difficult. Research within this research includes development of a broadened conceptualization of uncertainties in water management, including ambiguity as a different kind of uncertainty, apart from ontological and epistemic uncertainty. It also includes a case study of water management (HDSR, Kromme Rijn-gebied) about the differentiation of issues and stakes in the interactive decision-making process for a water area plan.
- Scaling and governance (IPOP Science Plan “Scaling and governance”). This research approaches the politics of scale from a sensemaking perspective. The framing of a problem as a local, regional or global problem is the result of an active process of sensemaking. When the European commission defined (transboundary) river basins as the scale for organizing water management they cut across existing administrative boundaries, resulting in many European countries in the activation of new relations and the deactivation of others. This research addresses the mutually influencing relations between a constellation of actors, their interdependencies and the framing of issues at a certain scale.
As part of the Scaling and Governance program a Ph.D. position has been opened at our Public Administration and Policy Group. More information can found at this website.
As part of the Scaling and Governance
program a Ph.D. position has been opened at our Public Administration and Policy Group. More information can found at this website.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Here's the abstract:
Currently water resources management is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Water resources management has a strong engineering tradition based on controlling environmental problems with technical solutions. The management of risks relied on the ability to predict extremes and limit their impact with technical means such as dikes, dams and reservoirs. In this paradigm, belief systems, human attitudes and collective behaviours are perceived as external boundary conditions and not as integral part of management. However, the situation has started to change dramatically. Over the past years, integrated water resources management has become the reigning paradigm. The importance of governance and cultural adaptation has become a major issue of concern. At the same time, there is a paucity of adequate scientific concepts that would allow addressing these issues. This paper introduces a concept for social learning developed in the European project HarmoniCOP and discusses its implications for the cultural and institutional context of water resources management. It aims to contribute to the new paradigm of integrated resource management by discussing the importance of processes of culture and social learning for environmental resources management, in general, and water resources management, in particular.
Ecological Economics is the Transdisciplinary Journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). To access the paper click here.
Monday, August 20, 2007
This is the abstract:
Although cross-disciplinary research collaboration is necessary to achieve a better understanding of how human and natural systems are dynamically linked, it often turns out to be very difficult in practice. We outline a framing approach to cross-disciplinary research that focuses on the different perspectives that researchers from different backgrounds use to make sense of the issues they want to research jointly. Based on interviews, participants’ evaluations, and our own observations during meetings, we analyze three aspects of frame diversity in a large-scale research project. First, we identify dimensions of difference in the way project members frame the central concept of adaptive water management. Second, we analyze the challenges provoked by the multiple framings of concepts. Third, we analyze how a number of interventions (interactive workshops, facilitation, group model building, and concrete case contexts) contribute to the connection and integration of different frames through a process of joint learning and knowledge construction.
The final version of the paper can be read or downloaded on the Ecology and Society open access journal website: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss2/art14/
Here's an updated publication list
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
More pictures can be found on the conference website http://ppw.kuleuven.be/mopan2007
The collection is somewhat biased towards discourse analytic methods, which I have been using most in my own research.
Here goes the abstract:
Natural resources management in general and water resources management in particular, are currently undergoing a major paradigm shift. Management practices have largely been developed and implemented by experts using technical means based on designing systems that can be predicted and controlled. In recent years, stakeholder involvement has gained increasing importance. Collaborative governance is considered to be more appropriate for integrated and adaptive management regimes needed to cope with the complexity of socio-ecological systems. The paper presents a concept for social learning and collaborative governance developed in the European project HarmoniCOP (Harmonizing COllaborative Planning). The concept is rooted in the more interpretive strands of the social sciences emphasizing the context dependence of knowledge. The role of frames and boundary management in processes of learning at different levels and time scales are investigated. The foundation of social learning as investigated in the HarmoniCOP project are multiparty collaboration processes which are perceived to be the nuclei of learning processes. Such processes take place in networks or “communities of practice” and are influenced by the governance structure in which they are embedded. Requirements for social learning include institutional settings that guarantee some degree of stability and certainty without being rigid and inflexible. Our analyses based on conceptual considerations and empirical insights suggest that the development of such institutional settings involves continued processes of social learning where stakeholders at different scales are connected in flexible networks and where the capacity and trust is developed to collaborate in a wide range of formal and informal relationships from formal legal structures and contracts to informal, voluntary agreements.
Here's an updated publication list