Towards a relational concept of uncertainty: incorporating the human dimension

M. Brugnach, A. Dewulf, C. Pahl-Wostl, T. Taillieu

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we extend the conceptualization of uncertainties in natural resources management. Uncertainties come in different kinds, as it is apparent from the multiple classifications and typologies of uncertainties in the literature. Here, we re-contextualize uncertainty in a broader way - its role, meaning and relationship with knowing and acting persons - because it is from this relationship where problems and solutions emerge. We argue that uncertainties have a relational aspect that has to do with how decision makers relate, through their knowledge and actions, to the human-technology-environmental systems to be managed ¿ an aspect that is not fully taken into account in the current literature. Our aim in this paper is to include the human dimension more fully in the conceptualization of uncertainties by (1) adding ambiguity as an important kind of uncertainty, (2) re-conceptualizing uncertainty as relational, and (3) indicating some implications of this reconceptualized overview for strategies for dealing with uncertainty in water management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-25
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational Conference in Adaptive and Integrated Water Management, Coping with complexity and uncertainty -
Duration: 12 Nov 200715 Nov 2007

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference in Adaptive and Integrated Water Management, Coping with complexity and uncertainty
Period12/11/0715/11/07

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