Evolving polycentric climate governance. The case of multifunctional water use in Oberhasli, Switzerland

Kellner, Elke; Oberlack, Christoph; Gerber, Jean-David (2018). Evolving polycentric climate governance. The case of multifunctional water use in Oberhasli, Switzerland. In: Füreder, Leopold; Weingartner, Rolf; Heinrich, Kati; Braun, Valerie; Köck, Günter; Lanz, Klaus; Scheurer, Thomas (eds.) Alpine Water - common good or source of conflicts? Proceedings of the Forum Alpinum 2018 & 7th Water Conference (p. 79). Breitenwang (Tyrol): Austrian Academy of Sciences Press

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Many resource regimes in advanced democracies are complex rather than integrated (due to the sectoral division of labor within public administrations, the lack of transversal coordination, competition for resources, strong property rights, etc.), leading to contradictory incentives in resource management. This presentation shows how governance processes are evolving to regulate competing multifunctional water uses under climate change in Oberhasli (BE), in the Swiss Alps. Our approach combines the frameworks of Institutional Resource Regimes (IRR) and Polycentric Governance. The IRR framework stipulates that formal institutional rules – public policies and property rights – shape the leeway that is available to resource users for defining localized resource-use modalities. Polycentric governance systems are those in which political authority is dispersed amongst a range of bodies that operate in overlapping jurisdictions which are not in a hierarchical relationship to one another. Recent scholarship suggests that polycentric organization of governance has a higher capacity to deal with complex challenges arising from climate change. The project aims to analyze under which conditions polycentricity can lead to a better coordination of resource uses. We performed a detailed case study to analyze governance processes of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Switzerland. Data were collected through 22 semi-structured interviews between 2016 and 2018 and document analysis. The results show that if the number of regulations increases and if simultaneously their coherence decreases, then this constellations promotes polycentric governance. The results further show the conditions under which polycentric governance improves or not the coordination of resource uses.

Item Type:

Book Section (Report Section)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Urban & Regional Planing
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Kellner, Elke; Oberlack, Christoph and Gerber, Jean-David

Subjects:

700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISBN:

978-3-7001-8353-2

Publisher:

Austrian Academy of Sciences Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Elke Kellner

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2019 10:17

Last Modified:

23 Apr 2019 10:17

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127387

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