Cumulating evidence in environmental governance, policy and planning research: towards a research reform agenda

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This paper suggests that the field of environmental governance, policy and planning
(EGPP) may be seen as an (emerging) scientific field, which can be characterised as
‘fragmented adhocracy’, explaining the widespread failure to produce robust and
cumulative knowledge. We argue that in order to produce reliable knowledge and
to become credible in the realm of policy and planning praxis, EGPP research needs
a major reform impetus. To this end, we propose three areas for reform, which
cover (1) an agreed canon of definitions shared within the community, while being
open to reinterpretations and novel concepts; (2) the stronger use of metaanalytical
methods such as the case survey methodology, or systematic reviews, to
cumulate published case-based evidence; (3) a systematic recognition of the
institutional, political and social context of governance interventions, which
becomes increasingly important to the extent that meta-analyses reveal general
patterns and trends which nonetheless vary with context. For each agenda item, we
briefly formulate the motivating problem and an ideal-typical vision to strive for,
and sketch out the pragmatic, epistemological and normative limits to its
realisation. We close with overall reflections on our research reform agenda and
suggest pathways for implementation.
ZeitschriftJournal of Environmental Policy & Planning
Seiten (von - bis)667-681
Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2020