Abstract

This article assesses the institutional prescriptions of adaptive (co-)management based on a literature review of the (water) governance literature. The adaptive (co-)management literature contains four institutional prescriptions: collaboration in a polycentric governance system, public participation, an experimental approach to resource management, and management at the bioregional scale. These prescriptions largely resonate with the theoretical and empirical insights embedded in the (water)
governance literature. However, this literature also predicts various problems. In particular, attention is called to the complexities associated with participation and collaboration, the difficulty of experimenting in a real-world setting, and the politicized nature of discussion on governance at the bioregional scale. We conclude this article by outlining a common research agenda that invites the collaborative efforts of adaptive (co-)management and governance scholars.

Key Words: adaptive governance; bioregional perspective; experimentation; polycentric governance; public participation; water management

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