Working at the boundary: An empirical study into the goals and strategies of knowledge brokers in the field of environmental governance in the Netherlands

Wynanda I. van Enst*, Peter P.J. Driessen, Hens A.C. Runhaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a broad range of literature on individuals who mediate at the boundaries between science and policy. However, there seems to be little empirical evidence on the goals and strategies of knowledge brokers, even though they appear to be becoming increasingly important in the field of environmental science and policy. This paper aims to improve the understanding of why and how knowledge brokers operate through an analysis of 27 in-depth interviews. It demonstrates that they see themselves as (strategically) sensitive to all stakes and stakeholders involved, possess a large network, and act without interests. They appear to act strategically in two different settings: on stage, where the collaboration of all stakeholders is needed, and backstage, where the knowledge broker steers the process on his/her own. Furthermore, our research suggests that the (perceived) credibility and legitimacy of the knowledge broker is more important to the process than the degree of credibility and legitimacy of the knowledge used in the decision-making process, and that it would be advisable to deploy knowledge brokers proactively, instead of reactively, which could lead to 'incident politics'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1962
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Environmental policy-making
  • Knowledge broker
  • Science-policy interfaces
  • Strategies

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Working at the boundary: An empirical study into the goals and strategies of knowledge brokers in the field of environmental governance in the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this