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Water Policy Entrepreneurs

A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe

Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink

This major volume focuses on the role of policy entrepreneurs in revolutionizing water management worldwide. Adopting an international comparative perspective, the authors explore the changes taking place in water policy across fifteen countries, at both the global level and within the European Union. Their analysis highlights the importance of groups and individuals in stimulating progress and reveals the crucial part played by policy entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 20: Water Transitions, Policy Entrepreneurs and Change Strategies: Lessons Learned

Sander Meijerink and Dave Huitema


Sander Meijerink and Dave Huitema 20.1 Introduction In collecting in-depth analyses of international water policies and of water transitions in 15 countries we had two objectives: to gain a better understanding of agency in water transitions; and to help the development of successful strategies by those who wish to influence transitions. This leads us in our final chapter to take up the research questions set out in the introductory chapter (Chapter 1). We explain in our chapter on theory (Chapter 2) why we expect the literature on policy continuity and change to be helpful in answering these questions. Drawing on this literature we have developed a typology of strategies that advocates of change can use to challenge the status quo and bring about change. Here we aim to refine this typology further and to explore the possibility and potential limitations of a more generic theory of change strategies in water management. How much do the particular geographical, institutional and political landscapes rule out different types of strategy, or can we identify similarities among cases that indicate where certain types of policy entrepreneurs and strategies might be successful? We first reflect on the concept of transition, which we have equated with major policy change (see Huitema and Meijerink, introduction to this volume, Chapter1) and on patterns of continuity and change in the various case studies. We ask to what extent it has been possible and useful to distinguish between major and minor policy change, in other words, between partial and complete...

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