Room for the River: Room for Research? The case of depoldering De Noordwaard, the Netherlands

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This paper explores the role of research in the context of the Dutch spatial planning procedure ‘Room for the River’. We start from the idea that research is strategically used to create space in negotiation processes, where stakeholders often have competing claims on natural resources. Multiple data collection techniques allow us to reconstruct and understand the critical events that led to the decision to depolder De Noordwaard. Within each critical event we describe and analyse how research and other resources were mobilized by policy-makers and other stakeholders to open up or close down negotiation space. By doing so, this paper contributes insights into the factors that influence the effective mobilization and contribution of research towards exploring sustainable solutions to complex environmental problems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-627
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • science
  • policy
  • perspective
  • networks
  • systems

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