Reallocating resources, rebuilding community : the Klamath Basin agreements and the emergence of adaptive governance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tt44pp96v

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  • The concept of "adaptive governance" represents a spectrum of hybrid approaches to environmental governance employed to guide management of complex social-ecological systems under conditions of high uncertainty. While the concept of adaptive governance has benefited from over a decade of theoretical development, empirical examples of transitions towards adaptive governance are lacking across a host of disciplinary literatures that approach environmental governance, including scholarship on resilience, law, human geography, and political science. In addition, there is no common framework and methodology to explore, analyze, and compare empirical examples of AG. To address these gaps, I propose a framework for identifying and characterizing empirical evidence of transitions toward adaptive governance. I then apply the proposed framework to analyze a case study of a governance transition taking place in the Klamath Basin, USA between 2001-2010, which includes the recent (2010) development of a set of negotiated agreements aimed at comprehensive, basin-scale, social-ecological restoration. Methods for this study include a review of public records and technical resource management documents, as well as 38 semi-structured interviews with individuals intimately involved in the Klamath governance transition. This data further informs a series of institutional mapping and social network analysis methods that clearly describe the emergence and institutionalization of adaptive governance in the basin. The Klamath case reveals that the literature lacks any substantial discussion of power and politics relative to transitions toward adaptive governance. Further, I argue that an investigation into the role of power and politics cannot be avoided in adaptive governance research as the process of unraveling political interactions can reveal root causes of transformations in environmental governance. Political forces acting upon processes of adaptive governance have the potential to defray or reinforce ecological degradation and social marginalization in terms of access to resources. Thus, research on adaptive governance can benefit from the additional analytical lens of political ecology in an effort to address the normative commitments inherent in a transition toward adaptive governance. Lastly, this dissertation suggests that the most pressing work to be done with regard to adaptive governance is to determine how to foster conditions that allow emergence of adaptive governance, and how to support some degree of institutionalization across the current range of approaches to environmental governance.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Brian Chaffin (chaffinb) on 2014-07-04T18:38:19Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) ChaffinBrianC2014.pdf: 11010004 bytes, checksum: 7cc2e02169d96b5c87071752ee7daedf (MD5)
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