Main content area

Power/knowledge and natural resource management: Foucaultian foundations in the analysis of adaptive governance

Van Assche, Kristof, Beunen, Raoul, Duineveld, Martijn, Gruezmacher, Monica
Journal of environmental policy & planning 2017 v.19 no.3 pp. 308-322
decision making, governance, livelihood, natural resource management, stakeholders
In this paper, we present a conceptual framework extending Foucaultian insights on the relations between power and knowledge to link up with current insights into studies of natural resource management (NRM) and more broadly environmental studies. We classify discourses in NRM according to understandings of social–ecological systems and argue that grasping those larger contexts can push NRM in a different direction, forming a base for more informed and inclusive decision-making. We then reconstruct the importance of materiality, the physical world, for the functioning of NRM within social–ecological systems. The concept of livelihoods is added to our developing Foucaultian frame, as material/discursive entwinements which structure responses of many stakeholders in NRM. Finally, we present an expansion of Foucaultian NRM into adaptive governance thinking as a logical outcome of basic insights into power/knowledge, developed and contextualized in current NRM and its critical analyses