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Arwin van Buuren and Jitske van Popering-Verkerk

This chapter address the challenges of utilizing collaboration to address one of the most challenging issues facing society today – climate change adaptation. Drawing on an analysis of Dutch efforts to manage their Delta Program, the authors found that consensus efforts were able to overcome deep uncertainties and value controversies. However, they also found significant challenges, including the need to develop more powerful political leadership, trade-offs between scientific depth and negotiated knowledge and trade-offs between consensus and decisiveness. They conclude that the approach in the Dutch Delta Program has been successful in introducing new ways of working, but cannot determine whether this has been sufficient to adjust standard routines in the water domain.

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Arwin van Buuren, Mike Duijn, Gerald Jan Ellen and Bouke Ottow

Chapter 19 by Van Buuren, Duijn, Ellen and Ottow deals with knowledge co-production in interactive governance settings. The authors focus on the extent to which actors can achieve ‘negotiated knowledge’, knowledge that is generated, shared and accepted by various actors in the interactive governance arena. However, Van Buuren et al. claim that knowledge co-production is anything but easy. It is hindered by the presence of deep cleavages between the domain of experts, policy-makers and stakeholders/citizens, who use different ways of knowing and different criteria to assess the relevance of knowledge. In their chapter Van Buuren et al. explore and reflect on the limits and limitations of knowledge co-production. They build on three cases from the Dutch water and soil management and climate adaptation policies. A key limitation is that negotiated knowledge from interactive arenas is often not carefully interlinked with formal decision-making procedures, and therefore hampers impact. Van Buuren et al. conclude their chapter by reflecting upon the question of how policy-makers and managers can deal with such limitations of knowledge co-production.