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Knowledge leads, policy follows? The Two Speeds of Collaboration in IRBM Ellen Pfeiffer, Jan Leentvaar 30 May 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowledge leads, policy follows? The Two Speeds of Collaboration in IRBM Ellen Pfeiffer, Jan Leentvaar 30 May 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowledge leads, policy follows? The Two Speeds of Collaboration in IRBM Ellen Pfeiffer, Jan Leentvaar 30 May 2013

2 Content 1.The case: Rhine Action Programme A phenomenological take on the Rhine regime 3.Institutional dynamics and cross-level interplay 4.Implications for Capacity Development

3 Purpose of 5th Symposium Europe‘s most economically important river One of 19 worldwide rivers with more than 5 basin countries Transboundary collaboration on navigation started 1815 Massive pollution problems: Rhine called „open sewer“ already in 1901 The Rhine river

4 Purpose of 5th Symposium 1950: ICPR founded, formal treaty 1963 For decades: joint research, but conflict and diplomatic deadlock over treaties for Chloride and Chemical Pollution 1986: Environmental Disaster – Fire at Sandoz, Switzerland 1987: Rhine Action Programme adopted  A “new era” of successful collaboration starts The Case: International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) – Rhine Action Programme (RAP)

5 Purpose of 5th Symposium Success Story RAP – Example Chloride Pollution

6 Purpose of 5th Symposium Iconic goal of the RAP: Return Salmon to the Rhine Original Salmon PopulationAdult salmon confirmed

7 Purpose of 5th Symposium Non-binding agreement, but water quality improved massively Knowledge and trust seen as core contributors to success But mechanisms of the process little understood  Which factor led the process: Knowledge and learning or political will? What made the RAP so successful?

8 Purpose of 5th Symposium Many toolboxes based on such case examples  Do we really know what makes best practice?

9 Purpose of 5th Symposium The Problem: A ‘Black Box’ take on IRBM Berne ConventionChloride Convention Rhine Action Programme „The Regime“ Research Cluster 1: Regime Development Research Cluster 2: Impact Assessments

10 Purpose of 5th Symposium Regimes ‘happen’ in social encounters Experiences and interpretations are ‘facts’  Detailed accounts by actors needed  Multiple theoretical approaches to triangulate best explanation  Pilot study to test method A phenomenological take on the Rhine regime

11 Purpose of 5th Symposium Interviews Pilot Study

12 Purpose of 5th Symposium Exceptional levels of personal identification Working groups unconsciously produced informal knowledge needed to facilitate better collaboration at the strategic level Working group leadership is crucial for the quality of outcomes High value of scientific output in working groups depended on building trust Results: Identity, learning, leadership & trust

13 Purpose of 5th Symposium “New spirit” coincided with systemic disruption of environmental policy in Europe “Ambitious goals” mirror existing treaties “Gentlemen’s agreement” is the norm in river basin management National Identities very visible in the process  The “European Experience” is not an exception  Power- and interest-based theories expect regime transformation Analysis I: ‘classic’ international relations theory

14 Purpose of 5th Symposium Formation of an epistemic community in the ICPR at the time It included some working groups and actors at the strategic level Strong influence on process design of European Water policy Knowledge leadership for many water quality questions But late to integrate ecological considerations  Effect of strong knowledge-based communities ambiguous Analysis II: Epistemic Communities

15 Purpose of 5th Symposium Dynamics show all characteristics of institutional bargaining Results suggest that working group formed a separate scale- dependent regime at the time Internal dynamics resemble cross-level interplay  Working groups might form sub-regimes  Formation is a separate process for each new group  ICPR outcomes might by shaped by interplay dynamics Analysis III: Institutional Bargaining

16 Purpose of 5th Symposium River basin organizations: A portfolio?

17 Purpose of 5th Symposium IRBM more portfolio managment than process management?  Would require more entrepreneurial leadership Are epistemic communities in working groups desirable?  Might support or obstruct a collective response to crises Is cross-level interplay within a regime desirable?  Strong ‘sub regimes’ can both lead and block innovation  Not all ‘knowledge’ capacity is unambiguously good for IRBM Implications for Capacity Development

18 Purpose of 5th Symposium Thank you for your attention. Contact details Ellen Pfeiffer Independent Researcher


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