Australian water governance in the global context: understanding the benefits of localism

Lain DARE, Katherine A. Daniell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Effective water governance is essential for sustainable global futures. However, conflicting water values increases tension in water governance, highlighting the need for governance systems able to cope with competing objectives. In this paper, we explore the potential for ‘localism’ to improve water governance through increased social learning and institutional integration. We argue that localism can provide a bridge between policy-makers and policy-implementers, as long as there is sufficient capacity to effectively engage. Following the work of Orsini [2013. “Multi-Forum Non-State Actors: Navigating the Regime Complexes for Forestry and Genetic Resources.” Global Environmental Politics 13 (3): 34–55], we consider that this capacity is influenced by the availability of ‘power resources’; namely material, ideational and organizational power. Using a conceptual framework combining power resources and localism strategies, two examples of localism in the implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan are explored. We find that localism can provide the necessary resources for effective water governance, although consideration of the challenges of localism highlights the need for a mix of localism strategies due to variable resource availability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-481
Number of pages20
JournalPolicy Studies
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2017

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