Moving Towards a Flat Ontology of Institutional InnovationActor-Relational Lessons Learned from Early Water Management Perspectives

Authored by: Luuk Boelens

The Routledge Handbook of Institutions and Planning in Action

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085732
eBook ISBN: 9781315111230
Adobe ISBN:


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Institutions create stability in times of change. However, in times of ongoing volatilities and a-linearity, institutions are challenged to their core. I will introduce a flat ontology to deal with those fuzzy situations. I will build on Niklas Luhmann’s ideas of open, adaptive subsystems and will link those ideas with Bob Jessop’s relational approach of institutional (re)turns. From this, I will compare the birth of water management in the Eurodelta based on an efficient interplay between custom, private, cooperative and public law. I will show how this interplay could also serve to create institutional innovations for future challenges.

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