Understanding actor perspectives regarding challenges for integrated river basin management

Robert-Jan den Haan (Corresponding Author), Jan M. Fliervoet, Mascha C. van der Voort, Vivian Juliette Cortes Arevalo, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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Integrated river basin management increases technical as well as management and governance complexity. In this multidisciplinary setting, actors, from their different backgrounds, frame both issues and solutions differently. To resolve conflicts, it is important to recognize – and to not ignore – the existence of contending social framings. A better understanding is needed of how actors frame issues and solutions in integrated river basin management. To gain this better understanding, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Dutch river basin management actors following Sense-making methodology. Three challenges were identified where respondents framed both the issue and solution differently: (1) creating flexibility in a controlled river system; (2) sustaining the integrated approach in the maintenance of floodplains; and (3) formulating future river basin management policies to adapt to climate change. Cultural Theory was subsequently used to analyse how respondents construct perspectives towards these challenges. The analysis showed how actors use different rationalities in constructing these perspectives. As an implication, it is important for actors to recognize and acknowledge these perspectives in integrated river basin management decision-making. New tools, embedded in learning environments, are needed to facilitate exchanging and understanding actors’ perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of river basin management
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • cultural theory
  • floodplain management
  • frames
  • learning environment
  • sense-making
  • the Netherlands
  • Integrated river basin management


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