Governance network hypotheses (in relation to representative democracy)
Relevance for KVBR
A. The incompatibility hypothesis: Describes governance network as
closed cooperation between strong vested interests forming iron triangles. The
bridging or “inter-bonding” links between these organizations
exclude other stakeholders and threaten the public interest.
Not relevant. For the local steward networks, it is true that the BO
often selects partners strategically for voluntary collaboration (theme and
adhocracy groups). But these are no collective-choice issues. The consultancy
group and the governance network are transparent.
B. The transitional hypothesis: Argues that representative democracy
will be replaced by governance networks. Decisions will increasingly be made
through stakeholder deliberation, reducing the role of politicians to
facilitators. The “public interest” is constructed during the
Not relevant. The governance network is not replacing representative
democracy. The municipality has been inspired by the BO, but there is no sign of
transition. The conflict on Naturum moved KVBR to “high politics,”
and the MEB took more control of the process, contrary to a
C. The instrumental hypothesis: Regards governance networks as a
means for strong governmental actors to accomplish their objectives. An example
could be the 33 River Rehabilitation Councils around Lake Laguna in the
Philippines in which stakeholders meet and solve conflicts under the supervision
and power of the state (Folke et al. 2005:461)
Potentially relevant. This hypothesis describes a top-down approach by
government agencies to strengthen their effectiveness. KVBR is a bottom-up
initiative. The consultancy group, however, may in the future be more formalized
and, together with Naturum, used more strategically by the MEB and the CAB to
further their objectives concerning nature conservation and the biosphere
D. The complementarity hypothesis: Describe governance networks as
quasi-governmental networks with loosely defined constitutional status in which
civil society can interact with public servants. The network is involved in
policy formulation and not just implementation as in the instrumental
Highly relevant, at least until 2007. The BO has been directly under the
MEB Chair, but its governance network was only loosely nested to the MEB and the CAB.
This enables public servants to interact across agencies and with civil society.
After Naturum, the MEB may choose to control the biosphere development or
continue relying on initiatives from the governance network.