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Ex Ante Scale Dynamics Analysis in the Policy Debate on Sustainable Biofuels in Mozambique

Marc Schut, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre
Cees Leeuwis, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre
Annemarie van Paassen, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05310-180120

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore how ex ante scale dynamics analysis can contribute to better understanding of interactions between scales and levels, and how these interactions influence solution space in policy processes. In so doing, we address opportunities and challenges of conducting ex ante scale dynamics analysis as part of an action-oriented social science research approach that seeks to enhance its contribution to more scale-sensitive policy development. The policy debate on sustainable biofuels in Mozambique provides the empirical context in which we analyze interactions across administrative, institutional, and economic scales and levels, and how these interactions influence the space in which policy solutions can be explored and designed.

On the basis of the analysis, we conclude that ex ante scale dynamics analysis can contribute to: (1) increasing awareness of interactions between scales and levels, and their implications for policy, (2) identifying immediate and potential matches and mismatches between scales and levels, and developing (adaptive) capacity to address them, and (3) identifying stakeholders and their scale- and level-related interests that can provide the basis for collaborative multi-stakeholder learning. Consequently, ex ante scale dynamics analysis can provide an important contribution to balancing and harmonizing interactions across different scales and levels, from which innovative and scale-sensitive policy responses can emerge. As part of an action-oriented, social science research approach, careful attention needs to be paid to processes of scale and level inclusion and exclusion when conducting scale dynamics analysis.

Key words

action-oriented research; biofuels; ex ante scale dynamics analysis; Mozambique; policy processes; scale and level; sustainability
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087