Publication

How knowledge enables governance: The coproduction of environmental governance capacity

Molen, F. V. D., Sep-2018, In : Environmental Science & Policy. 87, p. 18 - 25 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Franke van der Molen
The creation and mobilization of knowledge are key issues in environmental governance. Consequently, understanding the roles that knowledge may play in governance is crucial for enabling well-informed governance arrangements. An aspect of knowledge-governance interactions that has received relatively little focused attention is that knowledge can be understood to be an intrinsic element of environmental governance. This paper aims to further the theoretical and empirical insight into this aspect. In order to do so, it elaborates a framework that conceptualizes various governance capacities, i.e. regulatory, adaptive, and integrative capacity, in terms of the coproduction of knowledge, values, and social order. This framework is applied in the analysis of three domains of governance that notably concern the management of the Dutch Wadden Sea area. The findings suggest that settling disputes about natural resources, and working towards a sustainable equilibrium between conserving and utilizing nature, may be enabled by means of interactive and flexible governance arrangements that complement centralized governance. Moreover, knowledge may constitute the governance capacities that are needed for reaching such an equilibrium in various ways: as a steering mechanism, as a key to learning, and as a connective element of governance. The findings indicate that enabling well-informed environmental governance is not just a matter of managing the interfaces between knowledge and governance, but also a matter of capacity-building in order to bring about reflexive governance arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18 - 25
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Volume87
Early online date29-May-2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2018

    Keywords

  • Coastal management, DUTCH WADDEN SEA, SCIENCE-POLICY INTERFACE, ADAPTIVE GOVERNANCE, WATER GOVERNANCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, COASTAL MANAGEMENT, DECISION-MAKING, FISHERIES, COMANAGEMENT, RESOURCES

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