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Water Resources Management

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1127–1141 | Cite as

Water Management and the Procedural Turn: Norms and Transitions in Alberta

  • Jeremy J. Schmidt
Article

Abstract

Water management reforms promoting deliberative, decentralized decision making are often accompanied by procedures designed to accommodate a range of stakeholder perspectives. This paper considers the role of political and ethical norms affecting this ‘procedural turn’ in order to understand the management of transitions in complex socio-technical systems. It examines the discourse and practice of water reforms in Alberta, Canada in order to identify how new procedures were designed alongside changes to management institutions. It finds that the existing social and cultural context is an uneasy fit with procedural norms theorized in deliberative models of democracy. Using examples from the Alberta case, it draws out implications for understanding the procedural turn in water management and the role of norms affecting transitions toward sustainability.

Keywords

Water Procedures Norms Transition management Ethics Alberta Politics Deliberative democracy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Trudeau Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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