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E&S Home > Vol. 12, Iss. 1 > Art. 19 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Social Learning in European River-Basin Management: Barriers and Fostering Mechanisms from 10 River Basins

Erik Mostert, Delft University of Technology
Claudia Pahl-Wostl, University of OsnabrŘck
Yvonne Rees, WRc
Brad Searle, WRc
David TÓbara, Universitat Aut˛noma de Barcelona
Joanne Tippett, University of Manchester

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Abstract

We present and analyze 10 case studies of participatory river-basin management that were conducted as part of the European HarmoniCOP project. The main theme was social learning, which emphasizes the importance of collaboration, organization, and learning. The case studies show that social learning in river-basin management is not an unrealistic ideal. Resistance to social learning was encountered, but many instances of social learning were found, and several positive results were identified. Moreover, 71 factors fostering or hindering social learning were identified; these could be grouped into eight themes: the role of stakeholder involvement, politics and institutions, opportunities for interaction, motivation and skills of leaders and facilitators, openness and transparency, representativeness, framing and reframing, and adequate resources. Promising topics for further research include the facilitation of the social learning processes, the role of power, and interactions in political and institutional contexts.

Key words

collaboration; Europe; public participation; river-basin management; social learning
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087