Reflexive Land and Water Management in Iran: Linking Technology, Governance and Culture, Part 2: Stakeholders'Attitudes and the Key Elements of Reflexive Framework

M.R. Balali, F.W.J. Keulartz, M.J.J.A.A. Korthals

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic

Abstract

In order to get a better grasp of the opportunities and constraints of transition to sustainable land and water management in Iran, four large-scale qualitative–quantitative surveys were designed to find out the attitudes, interests, and values of land and water stakeholders including farmers, village informants, soil and water experts, and policymakers. To collect data needed for answering research questions, different instruments including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and open-ended interviews were used. These empirical investigations were carried out in 2007-2008 in Iran. Finally, with the integration of the theoretical and empirical researches the main contours of a more reflexive and sustainable land and water resource management in Iran were sketched. Accordingly, this reflexive framework includes four key elements. First, reflexive land and water technological innovation with its strategy of contextualization strives for restoration and integration of traditional and modern technology that focuses on the whole socio-technical system. To achieve this technological strategy, and as a second element, reflexive land and water governance should facilitate the inclusion of stakeholders in the process of transition. The third element is the Islamic land and water ethics with the core concepts of Islamic stewardship and environmental virtue ethics that can help people to understand how to live a good life in relationship to nature and the environment. The fourth element covers the reflexive soil and water sciences revitalized by an Islaminspired mode of inquiry that encourages achievement of stewardship management. This post-normal science and Mode 2 science facilitates the democratization of science to cope with the issue of interdisciplinarity and the exclusion of stakeholders (improving the relation between science and society) in the scientific atmosphere and research area. Finally, the land and water professional of tomorrow was portrayed as a “transdisciplinary engineer” and a “public leader”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalIranian Journal of Water Research in Agriculture
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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