Ambiguity: the challenge of knowing and deciding together

Brugnach, M. and Ingram, H. (2012) Ambiguity: the challenge of knowing and deciding together. Environmental Science & Policy, 15. pp. 60-71.

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Despite the claims of inclusiveness advanced by integrative approaches to resource management, the substance of decisions hardly reflect the diversity of meanings and interpretations that the inclusion of multiple actors implies. We assess the knowledge production processes currently employed in natural resources management, particularly water resources, and claim that part of this problem resides in how ambiguity is handled. From this perspective, we suggest that coping with ambiguity requires a reformulation of the knowledge production processes employed, in terms of the types of knowledge used, how and by whom it is created, what values are incorporated and how values are weighted. Here, we discuss the flawed assumptions of the operative knowledge production processes and the characteristics and challenges of knowledge production models better able to cope with ambiguity through integrative practices. Finally, we provide practical recommendations to facilitate implementation of knowledge co-production processes that can better actualize integration based on deliberation, open space for dialogue, negotiation and learning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ambiguity, , Natural resources management, Water management. Water policy, Collective decision making, Knowledge production process, Multiple ways of knowing, Participation, Framing
Author Affiliation: Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Subjects: Atmosperic Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 07:14
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2012 07:14
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