Thursday, August 23, 2007

Publication "The importance of social learning and culture for sustainable water management"

Another manuscript that resulted from the HarmoniCOP project (Harmonizing Collaborative Planning) has been accepted for publication in Ecological Economics. It is entitled "The importance of social learning and culture for sustainable water management" and is the work of Claudia Pahl-Wostl, David Tàbara, Rene Bouwen, Marc Craps, Art Dewulf, Erik Mostert, Dagmar Ridder and Tharsi Taillieu.

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

More articles available for download

A number of published articles can be downloaded as pdf-files below:

The references can be found on my publication list

Publication "A framing approach to cross-disciplinary research collaboration"

More good news from Ecology and Society: the manuscript "A framing approach to cross-disciplinary research collaboration" has been accepted for publication. I worked together on this one with my WOPP colleagues Greet François and Tharsi Taillieu, and Claudia Pahl-Wostl from the University of Osnabrück, as part of the NeWater project.

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.

he final version of the paper can be read or downloaded on the Ecology and Society open access journal website:

Here's an updated publication list