Knowledge uncertainties in environmental conflicts: How the mussel fishery controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea became depoliticised

Judith R. Floor, C.S.A. (Kris) van Koppen, Jan P.M van Tatenhove

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Resumé

Policy-makers and scientists often expect that controversies in public policy can be
solved by gathering more knowledge, even though this linear model of expertise is
widely criticised in social studies of science. To shed more light on this expectation,
the role of scientific uncertainties in controversies on mussel fishery in the Dutch
Wadden Sea (1990–2016) is investigated. The analysis shows that mussel fishery
regulation decisions were primarily based on government authority, not on scientific
knowledge. Expectations of policy-makers and scientists on conflict resolution
by more research were not met, because the knowledge debate was politicised over
ambiguous knowledge claims. The controversy was depoliticised by a political
covenant between the conflicting parties. The case study confirms that sciencebased
knowledge fails to guide policy-making as expected in the linear model, and
demonstrates how science plays important strategic, procedural and instrumental
roles in structuring interactions between stakeholders in nature protection conflicts.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEnvironmental Politics
Vol/bind28
Udgave nummer7
Antal sider24
ISSN0964-4016
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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social studies
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public policy
stakeholder
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Wadden Sea
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title = "Knowledge uncertainties in environmental conflicts: How the mussel fishery controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea became depoliticised",
abstract = "Policy-makers and scientists often expect that controversies in public policy can besolved by gathering more knowledge, even though this linear model of expertise iswidely criticised in social studies of science. To shed more light on this expectation,the role of scientific uncertainties in controversies on mussel fishery in the DutchWadden Sea (1990–2016) is investigated. The analysis shows that mussel fisheryregulation decisions were primarily based on government authority, not on scientificknowledge. Expectations of policy-makers and scientists on conflict resolutionby more research were not met, because the knowledge debate was politicised overambiguous knowledge claims. The controversy was depoliticised by a politicalcovenant between the conflicting parties. The case study confirms that sciencebasedknowledge fails to guide policy-making as expected in the linear model, anddemonstrates how science plays important strategic, procedural and instrumentalroles in structuring interactions between stakeholders in nature protection conflicts.",
author = "{R. Floor}, Judith and {(Kris) van Koppen}, C.S.A. and Tatenhove, {Jan P.M van}",
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Knowledge uncertainties in environmental conflicts : How the mussel fishery controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea became depoliticised. / R. Floor, Judith; (Kris) van Koppen, C.S.A. ; Tatenhove, Jan P.M van.

I: Environmental Politics, Bind 28, Nr. 7, 2019.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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T2 - How the mussel fishery controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea became depoliticised

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AU - Tatenhove, Jan P.M van

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AB - Policy-makers and scientists often expect that controversies in public policy can besolved by gathering more knowledge, even though this linear model of expertise iswidely criticised in social studies of science. To shed more light on this expectation,the role of scientific uncertainties in controversies on mussel fishery in the DutchWadden Sea (1990–2016) is investigated. The analysis shows that mussel fisheryregulation decisions were primarily based on government authority, not on scientificknowledge. Expectations of policy-makers and scientists on conflict resolutionby more research were not met, because the knowledge debate was politicised overambiguous knowledge claims. The controversy was depoliticised by a politicalcovenant between the conflicting parties. The case study confirms that sciencebasedknowledge fails to guide policy-making as expected in the linear model, anddemonstrates how science plays important strategic, procedural and instrumentalroles in structuring interactions between stakeholders in nature protection conflicts.

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