Governance capabilities for achieving small wins in wicked policy domains

A. Dewulf, C.J.A.M. Termeer, G.E. Breeman, R.A. Werkman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review


Wicked problems can induce wicked experiences amongst ambitious governance actors. Next to the overwhelming character of this class of problems, actors encounter all kinds of barriers when they try to implement new strategies to cope with wicked problems. This article offers a theoretical exploration of how actors can handle this wickedness in their daily activities and what they need from their governance systems to enable this. Four governance capabilities have been indentified: responsiveness, resilience, reflexivity and revitalizing. They involve different ways of observing, result in different ways of acting and require different enabling conditions. These governance capabilities are potentially conflicting because of the distinct contributions they make to overall governance capability. Together they provide devices for achieving small wins in wicked problem domains. In the paper, examples from European agricultural policy will serve as illustrations for the conceptual argumentation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event17th Annual MOPAN Conference 2010 - Keele, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 201030 Jun 2010


Conference17th Annual MOPAN Conference 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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