Ambiquity: the challenge of knowing and deciding together

Marcela Fabiana Brugnach, H. Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the claims of inclusiveness advanced by integrative approaches to resource management, the substance of decisions hardly reflect the diversity of meanings and interpretations that the inclusion of multiple actors implies. We assess the knowledge production processes currently employed in natural resources management, particularly water resources, and claim that part of this problem resides in how ambiguity is handled. From this perspective, we suggest that coping with ambiguity requires a reformulation of the knowledge production processes employed, in terms of the types of knowledge used, how and by whom it is created, what values are incorporated and how values are weighted. Here, we discuss the flawed assumptions of the operative knowledge production processes and the characteristics and challenges of knowledge production models better able to cope with ambiguity through integrative practices. Finally, we provide practical recommendations to facilitate implementation of knowledge co-production processes that can better actualize integration based on deliberation, open space for dialogue, negotiation and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-71
JournalEnvironmental science & policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-81577
  • METIS-279909


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