Climate change and ontological politics in the Dutch Delta

A. Zegwaard, A.C. Petersen, P. Wester

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper applies an ontological politics approach for studying how complexity, uncertainty, and ignorance are being dealt with in the Netherlands by looking at how knowledges are produced and incorporated in decision-making on uncertain climate change. On the basis of work done in the Netherlands, this paper shows two things in particular. First, how decision making responses historically have been subject to change under the influence of floods and how the emergence of climate change has significantly changed these floods. Second, based on the analysis of processes dealing with a blue-green algae problem in a lake, climate change not only changed decision making responses but also changed the very reality that is being enacted. Consequently, this brings an ethical dimension to the fore, related to the intrinsic tension between the growing awareness that “all is interconnected” on the one hand and the realization we cannot take all into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-444
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3
Early online date25 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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