Framing practice in an uncertain climate: Adaptation and water management practice in the Netherlands

D. Hoogendoorn, D.W. Laws, D. Lividikou, A.C. Petersen

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This article describes and analyzes the implications of uncertainty for the policy analysis and management practices likely to be affected by climate change. It examines these through an extended analysis of water management in the Netherlands. The analysis describes how practice-networks, formed to produce and implement technical assessments, deal with different forms of uncertainty. The analysis focuses on the network concerned with dike safety and demonstrates the manner in which institutional procedures black-box uncertainty and insulate it from critical scrutiny, even by the actors involved in constructing models and administering standards. This analysis is followed by an examination of the relationship between experts and citizens in water management, rooted in experience with large water management projects. This experience highlights both the need for, and the difficulties involved in, changing the relationship between professionals and -stakeholders at the level of expectations and behavior. The conclusions suggest new roles for stakeholders in complex technical domains like water management and sketch some features of a new model of practice that engages to the challenge of working under the shadow of uncertainty cast by a changing climate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRestoring Lands – Coordinating Science, Politics and Action: Complexities of Climate and Governance
EditorsH.A. Karl, L. Scarlett, J.C. Vargas-Moreno, M. Flaxman
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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