Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Usable environmental knowledge from the perspective of decision-making: the logics of consequentiality, appropriateness, and meaningfulness
Dewulf, Art ; Klenk, Nicole ; Wyborn, Carina ; Lemos, Maria Carmen - \ 2020
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 42 (2020). - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 1 - 6.

Environmental knowledge is a crucial input for public and private decision-making, yet often useful environmental knowledge appears to be unusable for decision-makers. To better understand how usable knowledge can be produced, we need to build on a better understanding of decision-making processes. We distinguish three different logics of decision-making and discuss their implications for knowledge use: (1) the logic of consequentiality, rooted in theories of rational choice, in which environmental knowledge is used because of its utilitarian value; (2) the logic of appropriateness, rooted in institutional theories, in which environmental knowledge is used because it fits existing rules and routines; and (3) the logic of meaningfulness, rooted in theories of sensemaking and interpretation, in which environmental knowledge is used because it makes sense to decision-makers. The theory and practice of environmental knowledge (co-)production can profit from considering these different logics of decision-making.

DMDU Society Annual Meeting 2019, Securing Sustainable Future
Pot, Wieke ; Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
Chair of the session 'Institutions and governance arrangements enabling forward-looking decisions under uncertainty by governments'

Transities door small wins
Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Dewulf, A.R.P.J. - \ 2019
In: Meer dan de som der delen / Kessener, Brechtje, van Oss, Leike, Management impact - ISBN 9789462762596 - p. 677 - 693.
Onze samenleving heeft in toenemende mate te maken met weerbarstige vraagstukken zoals klimaatverandering, terreur, armoede, biodiversiteit, duurzame mobiliteit of voedselzekerheid. Dit type vraagstukken wordt ook wel aangeduid als 'wicked problems' (Rittel & Webber, 1973) of taai vraagstukken (Vermaak, 2009). Ze vertonen een aantal kenmerken waardoor ze bijzonder uitdagend zijn, zoals betrokkenheid van actoren met conflicterende waarden en doelen, problemen die regelmatig van gedaante veranderen onder invloed van interventies en autonome dynamiek, problemen die het symptoon zijn van andere problemen op een andere plek of schaalniveau en oplossingen van vandaag die leiden tot het probleem van morgen. Bovendien kennen wicked problems geen stopregel: het is nooit klaar en het kan altijd beter (Head & Afford, 2015).
Betekenisvolle besluitvorming over een onzekere toekomst
Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
invited keynote
The emergence and evolution of master terms in the public debate about livestock farming: Semantic fields, communication strategies and policy practices
Stevens, T.M. ; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Dewulf, A.R.P.J. - \ 2019
Discourse, Context & Media 31 (2019). - ISSN 2211-6958
master term - master frame - social media - hashtag - framing - agricultural policy
In the new public space shaped by short, fast, and networked interactions on social media, single keywords, often used in combination with a hashtag, have become important framing devices that structure conversations and communities. This study provides insight into how keywords become dominant framing devices. We conduct a longitudinal comparative case study on the emergence and evolution of two dominant keywords in the Dutch livestock debate: plofkip (booster-broiler) and megastal (mega-stable). Based on an analysis of social media messages, news articles, and policy debates and documents, we study the role of keywords in semantic fields, communication strategies, and policy practices. We present four dynamics that help to understand how keywords become ‘master terms’: (1) loaded keywords for contested politicized objects can become powerful framing devices because they carry normative meaning and yet are open enough to be applied widely; (2) if activists explicitly and consistently relate the meaning of a loaded term to realities and responsibilities in the sector, the term becomes the signifier of an activist frame; (3) counter terms and frames increase attention, broaden the involvement of actors and deepen the conversation to a value-based debate, through which keywords become master terms; (4) master terms shape policy practices, which in turn reinforces the affordance of the terms in the conversation. We propose the concept of ‘master term’ as a keyword that not only reflects, but activates and establishes a master frame around which conversations and practices revolve.
Building Resilience to Chronic Landslide Hazard Through Citizen Science
Cieslik, Katarzyna ; Shakya, Puja ; Uprety, Madhab ; Dewulf, Art ; Russell, Caroline ; Clark, Julian ; Dhital, Megh Raj ; Dhakal, Amrit - \ 2019
Frontiers in Earth Science 7 (2019). - ISSN 2296-6463
chronic hazard - citizen science - landslide - local knowledge - Nepal - participatory science

Landslides disrupt livelihoods, cause loss of human lives and damages to property and infrastructure. In the case of Nepal, the destructive impact of landslides has been steadily increasing as a result of the rising occupation of marginal land and extreme weather events caused by climate change. In particular, the impacts of seasonal, shallow landslides have been underestimated due to underreporting, and lack appropriate policy response. Within this paper, we argue that citizen science – the practice of incorporating the general public in the process of knowledge co-production – may help address this issue by increasing the knowledge base of stakeholders at different levels. We present the preliminary results from an interdisciplinary scoping study of two landslide sites in Western Nepal, in Bajhang and Bajura, where the Landslide-EVO research project, including a citizen science component, is currently being implemented. The aim of the project is to innovate participatory environmental monitoring and to generate evidence to support resilience. Our exploratory qualitative investigation outlines the strategies currently employed by the local communities that continue living in the landslide affected areas. These include demographic shifts and patterns, land use changes and occupational diversification. We argue that these existing local adaptation and mitigation practices compound a wealth of experiential knowledge. Based on evidence from literature, as well as our first-hand experience of starting citizen science activities in the both landslide sites, we argue that citizen science has the potential to build on local knowledge base and strengthen the adaptive capacities of different level stakeholders. Our theoretical contribution is the proposed typology of citizen-science interventions. We distinguish between community science, participatory environmental monitoring and virtual citizen science, providing examples of how they can benefit stakeholders at different levels and/or different types of research. Finally, we examine the ways in which different types of citizen science could be applied in our case study sites, specifying the conditions under which they can attain maximum usefulness.

Betekenisvolle besluitvorming over een onzekere toekomst : Waterbeheer in een veranderend klimaat
Dewulf, A.R.P.J. - \ 2019
Water Governance (2019)3. - ISSN 2211-0224 - p. 8 - 13.
Wat doet klimaatverandering met waterbeheer? De gevolgen nemen vele vormen aan. Het kan bijvoorbeeld gaan over droogte, overstromingen, en/of waterkwaliteitsproblemen. Het voornaamste gevolg van klimaatverandering voor de besluitvorming over waterbeheer is dat we niet langer uit kunnen gaan van een stabiele, voorspelbare situatie, waarop we het beheer kunnen optimaliseren. In de plaats zien we ons gesteld voor grote onzekerheid over de toekomst. We weten dat het klimaat verandert, en welke gevolgen we kunnen verwachten, maar de ernst en de timing van die gevolgen voor het waterbeheer zijn lastig te bepalen. Hoe verder we in de toekomst kijken, hoe groter de onzekerheden worden.
“The truth is not in the middle”: Journalistic norms of climate change bloggers
Eck, Christel W. van; Mulder, Bob C. ; Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 59 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
Bloggers - Climate change - Climate change communications - Journalistic norms - Online media
Climate change has often been presented in a biased way in traditional media outlets, due to journalists’ adherence to the norm of balanced reporting. More generally, journalistic norms shape the selection and composition of news and thereby influence how climate change is covered in traditional media. Climate change coverage is also prominent in new media outlets, such as blogs. The current research aims to identify which journalistic norms are supported in the climate blogosphere, on the basis of 27 interviews with climate change bloggers. The results show that climate change bloggers support the traditional journalistic norms of personalization, dramatization, novelty, authority and order, but not balance. Beyond the traditional journalistic norms, climate change bloggers identify contextualization, clarity, decency, and particularly truth as important journalistic norms. Truth is understood as a multi-dimensional norm comprising objectivity, transparency, and honesty. No differences are identified between norms supported by climate sceptical and climate mainstream bloggers, but each group operationalizes the norms differently. These results challenge and redefine traditional models of journalistic norms, and contribute to theorizing how journalistic norms shape climate change coverage in new media outlets. As such, this research on climate change bloggers and their journalistic norms is crucial for a fuller understanding of current climate change communications.
The power to define resilience in social–hydrological systems: Toward a power‐sensitive resilience framework
Dewulf, Art ; Karpouzoglou, Timos ; Warner, Jeroen ; Wesselink, Anna ; Mao, Feng ; Vos, Jeroen ; Tamas, Peter ; Groot, Annemarie E. ; Heijmans, Annelies ; Ahmed, Farhana ; Hoang, Long ; Vij, Sumit ; Buytaert, Wouter - \ 2019
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 6 (2019)6. - ISSN 2049-1948
Since the early work on defining and analyzing resilience in domains such as engineering, ecology and psychology, the concept has gained significant traction in many fields of research and practice. It has also become a very powerful justification for various policy goals in the water sector, evident in terms like flood resilience, river resilience, and water resilience. At the same time, a substantial body of literature has developed that questions the resilience concept's systems ontology, natural science roots and alleged conservatism, and criticizes resilience thinking for not addressing power issues. In this study, we review these critiques with the aim to develop a framework for power‐sensitive resilience analysis. We build on the three faces of power to conceptualize the power to define resilience. We structure our discussion of the relevant literature into five questions that need to be reflected upon when applying the resilience concept to social–hydrological systems. These questions address: (a) resilience of what, (b) resilience at what scale, (c) resilience to what, (d) resilience for what purpose, and (e) resilience for whom; and the implications of the political choices involved in defining these parameters for resilience building or analysis. Explicitly considering these questions enables making political choices explicit in order to support negotiation or contestation on how resilience is defined and used.
Information systems and actionable knowledge creation in rice-farming systems in Northern Ghana
Nyamekye, Andy Bonaventure ; Dewulf, Art ; Slobbe, Erik Van; Termeer, Katrien - \ 2019
African Geographical Review (2019). - ISSN 1937-6812
actionable knowledge - credibility - information systems - Informational governance - legitimacy - salience

Rice farmers in the Kumbungu District in Northern Ghana interact with information systems. Of interest here is the degree to which knowledge derived from such interaction is actionable. The paper addresses the overall question: what information systems are currently providing agricultural information to rice farmers, and to what extent does this result in actionable knowledge creation? Findings revealed that Farmer-to-Farmer systems contribute most to actionable knowledge creation. We conclude that systems integration and local actor participation are essential for actionable knowledge creation in information systems.

Learning in multi-level governance of adaptation to climate change–a literature review
Gonzales-Iwanciw, Javier ; Dewulf, Art ; Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (2019). - ISSN 0964-0568
climate change adaptation - governance of adaptation - learning - literature review - multi-level governance

The governance of adaptation to climate change is an emerging multi-level challenge, and learning is a central governance factor in such a new empirical field. We analyze, through a literature review, how learning is addressed in both the general multi-level governance literature and the governance of adaptation to climate change literature. We explore the main congruencies and divergences between these two literature strands and identify promising directions to conceptualize learning in multi-level governance of adaptation. The review summarizes the main approaches to learning in these two strands and outlines conceptualizations of learning, the methods suggested and applied to assess learning, the way learning processes and strategies are understood, and the critical factors identified and described. The review contrasts policy learning approaches frequently used in multi-level governance literature with social learning approaches that are more common in adaptation literature to explore common ground and differences in order to build a conceptual framework and provide directions for further research.

A critical assessment of the wicked problem concept: relevance and usefulness for policy science and practice
Termeer, Catrien J.A.M. ; Dewulf, Art ; Biesbroek, Robbert - \ 2019
Policy and Society 38 (2019)2. - ISSN 1449-4035 - p. 167 - 179.
decision-making - Governance - policy - wicked problems

The concept of wicked problems has served as an inspiration for research in a variety of research fields but has also contributed to conceptual confusion through the various ways in which it has been defined and used. In this special issue, a number of ontological, theoretical and methodological issues are discussed. First, while its use as a buzzword has undermined precise conceptual definition, recent work goes beyond the wicked versus tame dichotomy and conceptualizes wickedness as a matter of degree, differentiates between dimensions of wickedness and emphasizes the relational character of problem definitions. Second, new and existing governance approaches have often been unproblematically proposed as ways to solve wicked problems, while only imperfect solutions, partial solutions or small wins are achievable in practice. Third, the concept of wicked problems has had little direct impact on policy theories, and while some argue that the analysis of wicked problems should be mainstreamed in public policy thinking, others propose to reject the concept and rely on existing policy theories. Fourth, as a concept used in policy practice, wicked problems tend to provoke either paralysis or an overestimation of what policy can do about wicked problems. Possible ways forward include (1) leaving the concept behind; (2) using the wicked problems literature as knowledge base to understand when and why policy and governance approaches fail; and (3) developing dimensions of wicked problems (i.e. conflict, complexity and uncertainty) into more analytically precise research tools and linking them with more closely with contemporary policy science developments.

Unearthing the ripple effects of power and resilience in large river deltas
Karpouzoglou, Timos ; Dang Tri, Van Pham ; Ahmed, Farhana ; Warner, Jeroen ; Hoang, Long ; Nguyen, Thanh Binh ; Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
Environmental Science & Policy 98 (2019). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 1 - 10.
Bangladesh - Flood - Power - Resilience - River Deltas - Vietnam

Historically, flood resilience in large river deltas has been strongly tied to institutional and infrastructural interventions to manage flood risk (such as building of embankments and drainage structures). However, the introduction of infrastructural works has inevitably brought unforeseen, major consequences, such as biodiversity and accelerated land subsidence, endangering the fertile characteristics that made them interesting places to live in in the first place. These ripple effects have sparked, a reconsideration of what deltas are, questioning the very separation and control between nature and culture, and how deltas are to be dealt with. These effects have further sparked changing modalities of power that tend to be overlooked by delta and resilience scholars alike. As a result, there is a real risk that future interventions to increase resilience, will in fact amplify unequal power relations in deltas as opposed to alleviating them. If the system as a whole has achieved some level of flood resilience (partly due to the flood defence mechanisms in place), does infrastructure have a differential effect on people's mobility under flood conditions? Are some groups experiencing less rather than more security, as water accumulates in some places but not others? This paper presents theoretical insights on the relationship between power and resilience in delta regions supported by two case studies, the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta in Bangladesh and the Mekong delta in Vietnam.

The development and intersection of highland-coastal scale frames: a case study of water governance in central Peru
Grainger, Sam ; Hommes, Lena ; Karpouzoglou, Timos ; Perez, Katya ; Buytaert, Wouter ; Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 21 (2019)4. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 373 - 390.
highland watershed conservation - Peru - Scale framing - urban water supply - visualisations - water governance

Scale framing makes an important difference to how complex environmental policy issues are defined and understood by different groups of actors. Increasing urban water demand and uncertain future climatic conditions in the Andes present major water governance challenges for the coastal regions of Peru. An understudied dimension of Peruvian water governance is how scale framing shapes the way problems are defined, and solutions are pursued. Here, we aim to strengthen the understanding of scale framing as it relates to highland-coastal interactions in central Peru between 2004 and 2015. By analysing this period of significant water governance reforms, we identify five prominent water-related frame dimensions and three differently scaled policy storylines and reveal how they developed and intersected over time. The storylines, supported by particular visualisations, either foreground ‘urbanshed’-level investment in water supply infrastructure, community-level cultural restoration for improved local agricultural production, or nationwide watershed-level financial mechanisms for highland ecosystem conservation. Our study shows how the intersection of these storylines at different moments during the policy process often had a strengthening effect, creating a coalition of actors who were then able to generate sufficient momentum and support within the Peruvian government for the implementation of conservation-based watershed investments.

A Relational Approach to Leadership for Multi-Actor Governance
Craps, M. ; Vermeesch, I. ; Dewulf, A.R.P.J. ; Sips, K. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Bouwen, R. - \ 2019
Administrative Sciences 9 (2019)1. - ISSN 2076-3387
relational approach - inter-organizational collaboration - multi-actor governance - complexity leadership theory - landfill mining
Multi-actor governance, in which a broad mix of actors collaborates to deal with complex societal problems, requires a leadership approach that can take into account the dynamic interdependencies between the involved actors. A relational approach to leadership, focusing on processes and practices, is more adequate for that purpose than approaches focusing on individuals and positions. Complexity leadership theory offers such a relational approach to leadership within organizations. In this article, we use complexity leadership theory to capture the emergent leadership processes between organizations. We focus on the characteristics of the informal relations between representatives of different organizations that enable dealing with the often-conflicting goals and values in multi-actor governance. The case of a landfill mining initiative for sustainable materials governance is used as an illustration to clarify the main concepts and arguments.
What makes decisions about urban water infrastructure forward looking? A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of investment decisions in 40 Dutch municipalities
Pot, W.D. ; Dewulf, A. ; Biesbroek, G.R. ; Verweij, S. - \ 2019
Land Use Policy 82 (2019). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 781 - 795.
Forward-looking decisions - Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) - Long-term governance - Multiple streams framework - Urban water infrastructure

Municipalities worldwide are confronted with the need to take long-term decisions about ageing water infrastructure in the face of unpredictable future developments. Previous studies on long-term decision making have proposed solutions targeted at the domain of either politics or planning. This study combines insights from the domains of policy, politics, and planning by using the Multiple Streams Framework to explain what enables municipalities to take forward-looking investment decisions. We combine the configurational MSF perspective with an explicitly configurational method namely fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis and apply this to 40 cases of Dutch municipalities. We conclude that enabling conditions differ for small versus medium-to-large municipalities. Furthermore, forward-looking investment decisions can be achieved regardless of the municipalities’ organizational analytical capacity. In fact, and contrasting to the requirement of the MSF, not all streams necessarily have to be present for forward-looking decisions to occur. For medium-to-large municipalities, forward-looking investment decisions are stimulated by: (1) the presence of organizational analytical capacity, (2) transactional/networking political leadership in situations without focusing events, or (3) entrepreneurial/transformative political leadership in situations with focusing events. For small municipalities, forward-looking investment decisions are stimulated by networking/interpersonal political leadership combined with the occurrence of focusing events.

A Delta plan with a resilience assessment please!
Dewulf, Art - \ 2018

A delta plan can help keep feet dry but it can also have other, sometimes unintended, effects. Public Administration expert Art Dewulf is coordinating a study of the effects of delta interventions in Vietnam and Bangladesh. Who decides policy, who benefits from it, and who gets the short straw? Key issues for the resilience of a delta region.

Deltaplan oké, maar voortaan wel met veerkrachtmeting!
Dewulf, Art - \ 2018

Veerkracht Sociaal Ecologische Systemen

ECPR General Conference 2018
Dewulf, Art - \ 2018
Deciding about the future? Embedding the long term in today’s governance. Co-convenor panel.
Power in Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: a conceptual framework
Dewulf, Art - \ 2018
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