Governance and Complexity in Water Management
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Governance and Complexity in Water Management

Creating Cooperation through Boundary Spanning Strategies

Edited by Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs

The premise of this book is that careful reconsideration of strategies to achieve water management ambitions, together with more in-depth knowledge on the theories and practices of boundary spanning, could bring solutions for contemporary water problems within reach.
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Chapter 2: Analysis of Boundary Judgements in Complex Interaction Processes

Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs


Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs INTRODUCTION 2.1 In this chapter a model for the analysis of boundaries in actor interaction processes is unfolded. This model tries to be as parsimonious as possible, while also trying not to shut out relevant factors too easily (cf. Quade, 1980). Therefore we come up with a middle ground between reductionist and deductive theories of reality, such as those supported by linear quantitative modelling, and more interpretative and social constructivist studies. Both extremes have their virtues and limitations. There is no one-size-fitsall in social science. The structure of this chapter reflects this standing in two ways. In Section 2.2 we describe how boundary judgements as part of actors’ cognitive system play an essential role in complex interaction processes between persons, groups and organizations, such as those in water management. The adaptiveness of boundary judgements can also be labelled as the receptivity of the actors. In Section 2.3 we broaden the analysis to all basic actors’ characteristics and all contextual factors that through them may also influence interaction processes, and in turn may influence the actors’ boundary judgements and receptivity. In Section 2.4 we elaborate somewhat further on the dimensions of boundary judgements and how these might change over time. Finally, in Section 2.5 we present a summary and a synthesis in the form of a set of questions for case analysis of boundary judgements in complex interaction processes. 2.2 BOUNDARY JUDGEMENTS WITHIN THE COGNITIVE SYSTEM Adaptive water management suggests water managers interact and interlink with...

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