Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature: A Constructivist Approach, Keith Hirokawa, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2013
33 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2013 Last revised: 27 Aug 2015
Date Written: March 6, 2013
Watershed institutions have emerged in the U.S. out of the structural fragmentation and functional inadequacies of several areas of law and policy. While these institutions organize governance, planning, and management functions around a type of ecosystem (i.e., watersheds), they are highly diverse and evolve over time. This book chapter seeks to understand the diversity of watershed institutions by employing framing analysis to identify the many cognitive and socio-political frames by which the legal system conceptualizes watersheds. More importantly, the chapter analyzes whether watershed institutions have adaptive capacity and can promote ecological and social resilience over time. The processes of multiple framing (multi-framing) and reframing, as seen in several case studies of multi-faceted and evolving watershed institutions, offer considerable promise for society and its watershed institutions to adapt to complex and dynamic conditions. The book chapter explores the barriers to and problems with multi-framing and reframing processes, as well as the opportunities for and benefits of multi-framing and reframing, in light of emerging scientific and social theories about resilience and systemic change.
Keywords: watershed, water, frame, framing, resilience, adaptive, adaptation, panarchy, institutions, evolution, systemic analysis, diversity, complexity, dynamism, change, reframing, cognitive frameworks, ecosystem, scale, environmental law, nature
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