Conceptualising joint knowledge production in regional climate change adaptation projects: success conditions and levers for action

Dries Hegger*, Machiel Lamers, Annemarie Van Zeijl-Rozema, Carel Dieperink

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    219 Citations (Web of Science)


    Matching supply and demand for knowledge in the fields of global change and sustainability is a daunting task. Science and public policy differ in their timeframes, epistemologies, objectives, process-cycles and criteria for judging the quality of knowledge, while global change and sustainability issues involve value pluralities and large uncertainties. In literature and in practice, it is argued that joint knowledge production in projects through collaboration between (and within) science and policy serves as a means to bridge the gap between the two domains. However, an assessment framework for analysing the merits and limitations of such projects, identifying good practices and enabling adaptive management as well as social learning had not yet been developed. This paper aims to develop such a framework. We portray joint knowledge production projects as policy arrangements in which the degree of success depends on the actors involved, contents of dominant discourses, presence of rules and the availability of resources. Literature was discussed to specify these four dimensions into seven success conditions for joint knowledge production. Scholars, boundary organizations and actors in projects can use the framework for retrospective analyses of projects, providing joint knowledge production with the empirical basis it still requires. The framework can also be used for promoting reflection in action as well as for formative assessments enabling social learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-65
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • Joint knowledge production
    • Co-production
    • Science-policy interfaces
    • Sustainable development
    • Mode-2
    • Post normal science
    • Transdisciplinarity
    • Sociology of knowledge
    • Climate change adaptation
    • Regional scale
    • The Netherlands

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