Levels of participation and interactional issue framing in a water area planning process

G. Francois, A. Dewulf, T. Taillieu

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Session 1-2 Levels of participation and their impact on interactional issue framing in a water area planning process Greet François 1, Art Dewulf 2, Tharsi Taillieu 1 1 K.U.Leuven - Research group for Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology 2 Wageningen University - Public Administration and Policy Group This paper is an analysis of a participatory process to define a water management plan for the area between the Kromme Rijn and the Amsterdam-Rijn canal in The Netherlands. The waterboard has initiated an interactive decision-making process, in order to analyze problems, devise solutions and develop the plan in a concerted way with the stakeholders involved. A sequence of stakeholder meetings took place, structured in different ways and thereby allowing for diverse levels of participation and interaction. The central research question is how the different levels of participation observed in the stakeholder meetings affect the interactional process of framing the issues in the problem domain. We therefore analysed different stakeholder meetings in the abovementioned participatory process and compared the interaction setting and the interactional framing processes. Based on meeting recordings, transcripts, field notes and documents, we identified levels of participation (information, consultation, active involvement) and we analyzed the ongoing interactional process of framing through discourse analysis. We identified three qualitatively different interactional framing processes which we will refer to as frame selling, frame filling and frame negotiation, which emerged in this sequence in the course of the participatory process. The information meeting was dominated by frame selling. In the consultation meeting frame selling occurred and frame filling was added. Only in the third meeting, characterized by active involvement, after an episode of frame selling and frame filling, frame negotiation occurred, allowing the issue framing to become more differentiated and with more potential for reframing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventFreude-am-Fluss Conference, Nijmegen, 22-24 Oct. -
Duration: 22 Oct 200824 Oct 2008


ConferenceFreude-am-Fluss Conference, Nijmegen, 22-24 Oct.

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