The role of governance modes and meta-governance in the transformation towards sustainable water governance
|CHINA; CLIMATE-CHANGE ADAPTATION; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; FLOOD RISK; Governance mode; INSIGHTS; MANAGEMENT; MARKETS; Meta-governance; PERSPECTIVE; POLICY; POLITICS; TRANSITION; Water governance system
|ELSEVIER SCI LTD
|ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY
For several decades, water policy reform and the design of governance systems were dominated by simplistic panaceas. This was accompanied by changing preferences for specific types of policy instruments and modes of steering. Such dominance has given way to a more nuanced understanding of requirements for sustainable and integrated water governance capable of addressing the challenges of global and climate change. This paper focusses on the role of governance modes and on meta-governance. Governance mode refers to a certain logic and form through which governance can be realized. The paper uses the distinction between bureaucratic hierarchies, networks and markets to denote different modes of governance. It argues that hybrid governance systems with synergistic interplay between these different governance modes are essential for dealing with, complex water management challenges. Furthermore, it argues that the development of such governance systems requires a combination of purposeful design and self-organization. An exploratory comparative analysis of water governance in Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, China and South Africa illustrates the validity and relevance of the conceptual considerations. The paper concludes by highlighting the need for meta-governance as a reflexive process of societal learning to develop, evaluate and adapt governance approaches with the purpose of addressing complex societal challenge.
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checked on Feb 21, 2024