Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance

This article dates back to my work with ACORDES at the University of Cuenca. Together with Monica Mancero, German Cárdenas and Dolores, we analyzed a case of river catchment management in Ecuador. The focus is on the fragmentation and connection of frames in this water governance process, with special attention to problem domain framing, issue framing and scale framing. The article is part of a symposium on water governance, guest-edited by Jurian Edelenbos and Geert Teisman, in the International Review of Administrative Sciences.

This the abstract:

In collaborative water governance, the variety of frames that actors bring to the discussion constitutes an important challenge. In this study, we analyse the fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance projects in the Paute catchment and its sub-catchment Tabacay in the Southern Andes of Ecuador. We rely on frame analysis of project documents, interviews and meeting recordings to analyse the initial stages of these projects. We discuss (1) the different roles of problem domain framing and issue framing in frame fragmentation; (2) the significance of scale framing to problem domain and issue framing; (3) the challenge of connecting expert frames with frames of other actors; and (4) the importance of face-to-face dialogue for connecting frames.

Points for practitioners

Professionals in public management and administration all over the world are increasingly involved in governance processes where they have to deal with a multitude of actors and perspectives. If their task involves setting up collaborative projects with other governmental agencies, civil society organizations and/or business actors, there is much to gain by paying close attention to how they themselves and other actors are framing both the problem domain and the issues involved. In processes of collaborative water governance, additional attention is required for how projects are framed with respect to water system scales and administrative scales, and for how technical framing of the issues connects to the frames and experiences of other actors.

Here's the full reference:

Dewulf, A., Mancero, M., Cárdenas, G., & Sucozhañay, D. (2011). Fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance: a case study of river catchment management in Southern Ecuador. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 77(1), 50-75. doi: 10.1177/0020852310390108

The article can also be downloaded here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do scale frames matter?

One of the PhD students I'm working with - Maartje van Lieshout - has just published an article on Scale Frame Mismatches in the Decision Making Process of a “Mega Farm” in a Small Dutch Village. The article is part of a special issue on Scale and Governance in the interdisciplinary open access journal Ecology and Society.

This is the abstract:

Scale issues are an increasingly important feature of complex sustainability issues, but they are mostly taken for granted in policy processes. However, the scale at which a problem is defined as well as the scale at which it should be solved are potentially contentious issues. The framing of a problem as a local, regional, or global problem is not without consequences and influences processes of inclusion and exclusion. Little is known about the ways actors frame scales and the effect of different scale frames on decision making processes. This paper addresses the questions that different scale frames actors use and what the implications of scale frames are for policy processes. It does so by analyzing the scale frames deployed by different actors on the establishment of a so-called new mixed company or mega farm and the related decision making process in a Dutch municipality. We find that actors deploy different and conflicting scale frames, leading to scale frame mismatches. We conclude that scale frame mismatches play an important role in the stagnation of the decision making process.

This is the full reference:

van Lieshout, M., A. Dewulf, N. Aarts, and C. Termeer. 2011. Do scale frames matter? Scale frame mismatches in the decision making process about a “mega farm” in a small Dutch village. Ecology and Society 16(1): 38. [online] URL:

The pdf-version of the article can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MOPAN 2011 Call for papers!

Pam Hearne at Strathclyde University (Glasgow) has been taking care of the arrangements for MOPAN 2011. The website is up at and a call for papers is waiting for your abstracts.

The theme of this year's conference is "Interventions in collaboration systems"

From the website:

"This year the conference will be held in the University of Strathclyde Business School building at 199 Cathedral Street in Glasgow. An early bird discount on bookings is available for any made prior to May 1st. See Registration.

April 8th is the deadline for abstracts. See Call for Papers.

For fees and accommodation details see registration

For further information, please contact"