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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.

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Tourism destination development in Thailand
Pongajarn, Chalermpat - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): V.R. van der Duim, co-promotor(en): K.B.M. Peters. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463437981 - 123
thailand - actor-network theory - social geography - cultural sociology - case studies - tourism development - tourism research - thailand - actor-network theorie - sociale geografie - cultuursociologie - gevalsanalyse - ontwikkeling van toerisme - toeristisch onderzoek

Informed by actor-network theory (ANT), this research aims at improving understanding of the nature of tourism destinations in Thailand and their development by investigating through three main notions: ordering, materiality and multiplicity. These notions enabled to study how tourism destinations in Thailand develop: how they are ordered and constructed, as well as how they hold their agency as tourism destinations through processes of re-negotiation and re-enactment. By employing ANT and its ontological perspective, tourism destinations are seen as fractionally coherent, or as ordering effects, which develop through, in and by heterogeneous networks. Consequently, tourism destinations are not set in stone. They are multiple things at once, and their configurations and development patterns cannot be foretold. By employing ANT, this study challenged the conventional approach to tourism destination development by underlining complexity rather than viewing these destinations as being static. Instead of aiming to provide general design principles or recommendations, this thesis provides an insight on tourism destination development in Thailand by studying three destinations: Pai, Pattaya, and the floating markets of Damnernsaduak, Thaka, Ampawa, Pattaya and Bang Numpheung.

On the edge of fluidity: international cooperation in turbulent times
Umans, Laurent - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579033 - 202
development cooperation - policy processes - international cooperation - bolivia - actor-network theory - netherlands - ontwikkelingssamenwerking - beleidsprocessen - internationale samenwerking - bolivia - actor-network theorie - nederland

This thesis reflects the results of action-research carried out in development cooperation, policy development and diplomacy. Research was conducted in three communities in Bolivia as well as in the offices of development practitioners, policy makers and diplomats. The research focuses on international cooperation in practice and as a practice. In this thesis I share my insights on how strategies, approaches and policies affect and shape international cooperation. In practice, development practitioners tend to shape their practices as interventions in order to fix the recipient’s problems through transfers. They shape the so-called beneficiaries’ social, discursive, political and performative practices. They assume policies will guide their actions through straightforward implementation. This might work very efficiently and effectively in rather simple situations in which entities (singular things or phenomena) and relations are separable, processes are linear and causality is easily understood. Both this interventionist type of development cooperation and simple situations are characterized by assumptions regarding high levels of differentiation, segmentation, predictability and stability.

If the situation becomes complex rather than simple, which is often the case in development cooperation, then entities are still separable but relations have become inseparable (one relation affects other relations). And processes have become non-linear (feedback loops). I argue that in such a complex situation, development cooperation can best be shaped by the facilitation strategy and the fit-in-context approach. And it is better to understand policies as not being transferred through intermediaries but as being translated through mediators during implementation. To understand how ‘shaping’ takes place in such complex situations, the Actor-oriented approach and Actor-Network Theory are a useful frameworks.

In my field research I noted that besides being complex, the reality I encountered can be fluid. This occurs when even the entities are inseparable, unstable, undifferentiated, volatile, turbulent or undetermined. I will give four examples. First, the Yuracaré corregimientos. These are territorial subdivisions. My research revealed that near the river they are demarcated by clear points and lines and that inside the forest their boundaries is blurred. So their nature is partly bounded and neat as well as partly amorphous and fused. The second example is about a sawmill. The sawmill the Yuracaré received from a development organization, has multiple, sticky imprints. These make its boundary blurred. Its nature is not a material singularity (one machine) but a socio-material assemblage of materialities and embodied knowledges, meanings, etc. Its sticky, blurred nature makes it inseparable from its earlier context. The third example is about inseparable policy issues. My research revealed that traide is an emerging policy assemblage which merges aid and trade and dissolves the traditional dividing line between those policy fields or practices. Finally, the example of Earth-beings. These are unknowns rather than determined entities. These various rather undifferentiated ‘objects’ that I encountered in my research, are causes for failure and surprise. They escape the common practice and notions used in international cooperation. Therefore, I propose different concepts to analyse them: becomings rather than beings and multities rather than entities.

These becomings and multities render the situation fluid rather than complex. This poses challenges for development cooperation, policy development and diplomacy in practice. Instead of intervention or facilitation I argue there is a need to encourage self-development and to not be afraid to let-go. This strategy requires a different set of social, discursive, political and performative practices. Instead of the ‘fix-their-problems’ or ‘fit-in-context’ approaches, this research shows a need for a ‘go-with-the-flow approach’. Instead of controlling or mediating the policy cycle, there is a need to give space for creative reassembling.

In these ways fluidity affects international cooperation as practice. Becomings and multities reveal a viscous reality of different differences. The entities constitute a topographic, solid space-time of points (positions), lines (relations, transitions), figures, extensions, phases, calculations and external references. The multities constitute a topological, fluid space-time of vectors, manifolds, intensities, flows (transformations), escapes and self-references. The solid and fluid are not separable but co-constituted and form an immanent viscous entirety. In this thesis, the viscosity does not refer to the nature or physicality of materiality but viscosity refers to the nature of realities, that is to see, it is ontological. Realities of different natures are enfolding in a continuous movement in-between becoming-a-being (stabilizing, differentiating) and being-a-becoming (destabilizing, deterritorializing). In such dynamic realities, development is not an externally aided or imposed transition from A to B but is always self-development of a partly amorphous assemblage. Development as a becoming is a transformation and movement in-between A and B (solid and fluid). Development cooperation is neither shaped by transfers nor actor-networking but by the continuous practices of assembling in the midst of processes of de- and reterritorialization. And policy development is not a cyclical process in time (where formulation is followed by implementation) but a movement in space-time, with stabilizing forces and escapes affecting the assemblages (see Chapter 6).

As part of working in and studying international cooperation I also engaged with the practice of diplomacy (see Chapter 7). My research focuses on the changing bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Bolivia. Both governments explored and desired a relation among equals. Equality was to be found in mutually beneficial geo-economic cooperation. In the new bilateral relationship, the lithium deposits in Bolivia became central, but the nature of lithium was differently perceived. Lithium can be conceived of as a passive natural resource out there. It is a chemical, inert substance placed in the periodic table of the elements. However, in Andean ontologies, lithium is an animated matter, an Earth-being. Through Andean practice, lithium is enacted as being alive and it must be taken care of. These different natures of lithium were negotiated in the diplomatic encounter I studied. What was foreign to politics (the natures of nature) has become part of foreign politics. This ontological politics is a transformative force for diplomacy as a practice. Diplomacy, seen as the art of overcoming incommensurable differences, is no longer merely a geopolitical or geo-economic affair but it became an ontological affair. It is needed to address peacefully the different ways of shaping, thinking and enacting worlds. The world is not only prior to practice (in terms of acting and performing) but a practice is prior to the world. The performativity of practice is enacting the world. Diplomats then become creative world-makers.

Through a different practice, people bring different and multiple worlds into being. These multiple worlds can have different natures. I argue there is a need for acknowledging the different natures of the natural and of the human. The political nature of negotiating and enacting (often implicitly) different ontologies has to be acknowledged and should become part of diplomacy. The significance of this particular diplomatic practice no longer lies in the negotiation of incommensurable political positions but in negotiating incommensurable ontologies and worlds. In turbulent times, diplomacy is needed more than ever but simultaneously in need of transformation and expansion.

Finally, diplomatic skills are needed in social sciences to address certain biases towards the topographical, particularly in Actor-Network Theory. A Deleuzian complementation, focusing on the varying intensities of separability, differentiation, stability and determination, would bring in more symmetry between the topographical and topological.

Tourism Encounters and Controversies: Ontological Politics of Tourism Development
Jóhannesson, G.T. ; Ren, C. ; Duim, V.R. van der - \ 2015
Surrey : Ashgate (New Directions in Tourism Analysis ) - ISBN 9781472424365 - 247
toerisme - ontwikkeling van toerisme - toerismebeleid - politiek - actor-network theorie - ondernemerschap - tourism - tourism development - tourism policy - politics - actor-network theory - entrepreneurship
The multiplicity of tourism encounters provide some of the best available occasions to observe the social world and its making(s). Focusing on ontological politics of tourism development, this book examines how different versions of tourism are enacted, how encounters between different versions of tourism orderings may result in controversies, but also on how these enactments and encounters are entangled in multiple ways to broader areas of development, conservation, policy and destination management. Throughout the book, encounters and controversies are investigated from a poststructuralist and relational approach as complex and emerging, seeing the roles and characteristics of related actors as co-constituted. Inspired by post-actor-network theory and related research, the studies include the social as well as the material, but also multiplicity and ontological politics when examining controversial matters or events.
Forest fights in Haripur, Northwest Pakistan
Nizami, A. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461734556 - 257
ontwikkelingsstudies - sociologie - politieke processen - acteurs - actor-network theorie - samenleving - natuur - bossen - bosbouw - staat - bosbranden - ecologie - vrouwen - pachtstelsel - pakistan - development studies - sociology - political processes - actors - actor-network theory - society - nature - forests - forestry - state - forest fires - ecology - women - tenure systems - pakistan

This thesis is an inter-paradigmatic exchange between political ecology and post-structuralist interpretations of actor-structure relationships. The study is founded on multiple discourses where different interpretations of a particular phenomenon by various actors have been analysed. The thesis is meant to show that relationships between society and nature are dynamic, entail multi-sited struggles among many actors at several terrains and are deeply rooted in earlier history.The study transpires that the forest is shaped by a loosely knit network of actors that are linked together by a kaleidoscope of rights, claims and social relationships which seem to determine the fate of the forest in a village.

Chapter 2 elaborates the theoretical foundation and methodological trajectory of this thesis. The concept of arena is central and analytically useful for this study as it connotes and involves social actors, their social relationships, practices and struggles between them. The notion of social arena is a metaphor for the site or place where action takes place between social actors. These places are not limited by geographical, natural or administrative borders. Arenas are social locations in which contests over issues, resources, values and representations take place. These are either spaces in which contestation associated with different practices and values of different domains takes place; or they are spaces within a single domain where attempts are made to resolve discrepancies in value interpretation and incompatibilities between actor interests. I argue that the forest as a social arena stretches beyond its natural and physical borders.The arena as the site of the struggle is not just geographically confined within natural (e.g. forest) and/or administrative (e.g. political) boundaries but it stretches beyond the locality. These arenas are diverse, they overlap and co-exist, and the boundaries at a given time are defined by networks of relationships between forest users and consumers, relationships between the State, bureaucrats, forest owners, dwellers, and so on.

Chapter 3 gives a detailed account of history of Haripur and how forests were legally categorised and distributed. History helps understand the political alliances and the power struggles in the region, the district, and (sub district) Khanpur. The State, during British rule introduced a new management regime for natural resources which changed the entire social landscape of Khanpur by attaching private property rights to the trees as well as forest lands in the region. The government authorities, notably the Forest department have most often seen forest dwellers destructive for the forest, depleting its resources and interfering with nature. This premise lays foundation of mistrust between people and the government. Contrary to this, the initiatives to introduce people in forestry governance are based on the realisation that the ownership, or at least management control over forests, is critical to responsible management by the people.

Chapter 4 provides a detailed account of how the Forest department operates in relation to people and forest resources. There are multiple scales of articulation, alliances and struggles within and around the department and these positions are changeable from time to time with several internal and external factors. The case of Forest department manifests that the State is to be seen as a multifaceted organ and not as an individual actor. Structural changes were introduced in the department but the core on which the foundation of the department was laid, was never changed. Many women firmly believe that the department must continue to use authority to control local people who cause degradation. Each reform initiative taken in the name of participation ended up with basically continuing the same centralised system. Forests were never handed over to the community along with management responsibility (e.g. Guzara forests). Only joint management of forests was enacted – yet not implemented. Trust remained a major issue in all these struggles.

The subject of forest fire, which I perceive and have experienced as a strong manifestation of resistance and also as a tool to manipulate natural resources, has been dealt with in different places in this thesis, but particularly in Chapter 5. Burning forests is an old practice for clearing land for agriculture.Fire therefore had a significant role in defining farmers’ territories. Gradually these practices changed but grazers continued to light up forests to produce lush green grass for their livestock. This led to a persistent discourse based on appropriating every fire incident to the grazers’ practices. This study highlights that fire is now increasingly used as a management tool for manipulating the resource. Firewood collectors and big owners use fire for obtaining dry firewood or build the case for felling dead / dry trees which is allowed in the policy after ban on green felling. Even if fires may occur due to the will of the forest owner, the policy blindly holds grazersresponsible for their wasteful and damaging practices. The collectors of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP), mostly women, are not happy with fire since their resources are burnt down due to the productive fire requirement of Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii). There is an incline in the graph of forest fires, decreasing self initiative among people to control fires, along with the Forest department’s management bias towards Chir pine trees in fire control operations; these concerns echo in various voices from the field. The chapter also highlights a form of connivance between the owner and the occupants of lands (peasants / tenants) and also the owners and Forest department staff.

Chapters 6 deals with actors in their struggle to secure their rights to the forest through acquiring forest land title deeds. This initiative from the side of the new owners can be understood as a response to what is explained in Chapter 5. No forests have been handed over with management responsibilities to non owner forest users in nearly one and a half centuries. Non owners have resorted to buying forest lands in little parcels in creating private forests. This way, new meanings are given to the forest and new spaces are created through tactical networking among various actors. Field evidence and opinions from several actors suggest that Reserved forests are frequently being accessed by people for their needs in a de facto manner. Several new owners have acquired land entitlement comprising small pieces of lands which do not have a huge timber value in future. Followed by this, it is also visible that the nature of power in the contemporary society of Khanpur (and beyond) is changing. Power, which was once measured through landholding, is now measured through other symbols, such as political connectivity and affiliation.

Regular access to NTFP by non-right holders for the sake of earning an income (Chapter 7) is an illustration of their struggle, or more strongly put, an in-between expression of resistance. Poor women remain invisible in their daily practice to access NTFPs. They use spaces that are considered undesirable by other forest actors. These spaces cannot be completely separated within the social arena, but they are knitted into the day to day practices of people. State intrusion into women’s customary and de facto practices concerns them. They fear that this will only reduce their chances of earning a modest livelihood from the forest. However, the women are also highly creative in reshaping their practices and relationships with every change that takes place around them. Firewood collection is the most visible, uninterrupted and non-compromising activity for women. In their daily struggle to feed the family, they virtually manage and control the forest. Contrary to this, women are not part of any dialogue on forestry reform. They need to be part of the negotiation process in which their spaces remain secure. The most important challenge is to create the mechanisms for discussion, negotiation, and arbitration of gendered access regimes under a variety of circumstances.

Actor-Network Theory and Tourism : Ordering, materiality and multiplicity
Duim, V.R. van der; Ren, C. ; Jóhannesson, G.T. - \ 2012
Oxford, UK : Routledge (Contemporary geographies of leisure, tourism and mobility 29) - ISBN 9780415620727 - 180
actor-network theorie - toerisme - sociologie van het toerisme - sociale geografie - psychosociale aspecten - actor-network theory - tourism - sociology of tourism - social geography - psychosocial aspects
The recent surfacing of actor-network theory (ANT) in tourism studies correlates to a rising interest in understanding tourism as emergent thorough relational practice connecting cultures, natures and technologies in multifarious ways. Despite the widespread application of ANT across the social sciences, no book has dealt with the practical and theoretical implications of using ANT in Tourism research. This is the first book to critically engage with the use of ANT in tourism studies. By doing so, it challenges approaches that have dominated the literature for the last twenty years and casts new light on issues of materiality, ordering and networks in tourism. The book describes the approach, its possibilities and limitations as an ontology and research methodology, and advances its use and research in the field of tourism. The first three chapters of the book introduce ANT and its key conceptual premises, the book itself and the relation between ANT and tourism studies. Using illustrative cases and examples, the subsequent chapters deal with specific subject areas like materiality, risk, mobilities and ordering and show how ANT contributes to tourism studies. This part presents examples and cases which illustrate the use of the approach in a critical way. Inherently, the study of tourism is a multi-disciplinary field of research and that is reflected in the diverse academic backgrounds of the contributing authors to provide a broad post-disciplinary context of ANT in tourism studies.
The adventure of greening the University : rol van het studentennetwerk Morgen bij kennisuitwisseling voor duurzame ontwikkeling binnen het hoger onderwijs
Voermans, K. ; Hendriksen, A. ; Drunen, M. van - \ 2010
Wageningen : Wetenschapswinkel Wageningen UR (Rapport / Wetenschapswinkel Wageningen UR 265) - ISBN 9789085851967 - 31
kennis - studenten - studentenparticipatie - hoger onderwijs - universiteiten - communicatie - vergroening - bedrijfsvoering - nederland - kennisoverdracht - duurzame ontwikkeling - actor-network theorie - netwerken - knowledge - students - student participation - higher education - universities - communication - greening - management - netherlands - knowledge transfer - sustainable development - actor-network theory - networks
De Wetenschapswinkel heeft in opdracht van het studentennetwerk Morgen een onderzoeksproject uitgevoerd naar duurzame ontwikkeling binnen universiteiten en hogescholen. Het doel van het project ‘The Adventure of Greening the University’ is om ‘Morgen’ te adviseren hoe het proces van kennisuitwisseling rondom duurzame ontwikkeling binnen het hoger onderwijs te versnellen.
Networks with free actors : encouraging sustainable innovations animal husbandry by using the FAN approach (Free Actors in Networks) : networking is sensing opportunities!
Wielinga, E. ; Zaalmink, W. ; Bergevoet, R.H.M. ; Geerling-Eiff, F.A. ; Holster, H.C. ; Hoogerwerf, L. ; Vrolijk, M. ; Teenstra, E.D. - \ 2008
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - 123
dierhouderij - veehouderij - ondernemerschap - innovaties - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - netwerken (activiteit) - kennis - leren - consulenten - wetenschappers - samenwerking - netwerken - actor-network theorie - animal husbandry - livestock farming - entrepreneurship - innovations - sustainability - networking - knowledge - learning - consultants - scientists - cooperation - networks - actor-network theory
After three-and-a-half years of experience with 120 networks of livestock farmers a new approach has arisen which offers good perspectives for encouraging sustainable innovations: the FAN approach (Free Actors in Networks), with actors focusing on energy and connections to steer things along. Part one of this publication describes the approach and how it has come into being, its theoretical substantiation and the conclusions which can be drawn on the basis of this experience. The second part of this book is practice oriented. It describes the major tools, four analysis models and two self-evaluation methods, for free actors and illustrates them with examples taken from the network experiences.
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