ERIC Number: EJ723836
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Conflicts about Water: A Case Study of Contest and Power in Dutch Rural Policy
Boonstra, Wijnand; Frouws, Jaap
Journal of Rural Studies, v21 n3 p297-312 Jul 2005
The Dutch countryside forms the scene for pressing problems of management and allocation of land and water. These problems underscore the need for comprehensive rural policies. For that purpose, area-based rural policy has been initiated. This new policy is part of a larger policy shift, labelled in literature as "new rural governance". Area-based rural policy co-ordinates the different interests of stakeholders and establishes consensus-based solutions. In this article we question this claim. We analyse the conflicts, rationalities and interests within a Dutch rural planning project. This project displays a power struggle in which actors try to (de)construct legitimacy. This observation contrasts sharply with the consensual rationality on which area-based policies are founded. Therefore, we conclude that a tension exists between "what should be done" and "what is actually done" in Dutch rural policy. Area-based policy does not guarantee the establishment of consensus among rural stakeholders. Therefore, Dutch area-based policies need to be contextualised to purposefully address spatial rural problems.
Descriptors: Interests, Rural Economics, Case Studies, Foreign Countries, Rural Development, Water, Conflict, Public Policy, Social Problems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands