The co-production of knowledge about water resources: framing, uncertainty and climate change

A. Dewulf, M. Brugnach, H. Ingram, C.J.A.M. Termeer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Abstract

In addressing the challenge for institutions to respond to climate change, we focus on how different actors frame global climate related water problems in different ways. We take "frame" to mean a sensemaking device that creates meaning by selecting certain issue elements and arranging them in a meaningful way. Through framing, actors relate to a problem situation in a specific way, and this evolves with changes in the physical, social and interactional context. Multiple frames create a specific kind of uncertainty, called ambiguity, which complicates decision-making and is not easily resolved. Here we link frames to knowledge, by considering frames as connected to "ways of knowing" about a specific situation, which can be related to but are different from interests or ideologies. Both framing and knowing can be understood as emergent relations between actors and social and natural systems. "Configurations" arise because actors not only develop frames in interactions but also often lean towards actors with similar ways of knowing. When actors become closely included in configurations they run the risk of only confirming their own frames and of not being open to actors with different ways of knowing. Relying on examples from different areas of the world, we observe the ways in which multiple frames about climate issues, like equity, ecological sustainability or economic development challenge each other and are often not in balance. Forging collaborative links between multiple frames or ways of knowing is a relatively unexplored but essential process for reaching more socially and technically robust solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-14
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event7th International Science Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change -
Duration: 26 Apr 200930 Apr 2009

Conference

Conference7th International Science Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Period26/04/0930/04/09

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