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Public stealth and boundary objects: Coping with integrated water resource management and the post-political condition in Montana’s portion of the Yellowstone River watershed

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Abstract

This paper uses the case of recent efforts in the Yellowstone River watershed to illuminate how the implementation of Integrated Water Resources (IWRM)-styled activities by a Montana state agency is best understood as an exercise in practical expediency that indirectly, but consequentially, supports hegemonic neo-liberalism. We present an innovative use of Q method, focus groups, and participant observations, as means to examine how scale-based interventions by the state moved IWRM-style reforms forward. The activities under consideration allow us to advance an empirically-based critique of so-called integrated approaches to environmental reform with a specific focus on the rescaling process inherent to adoption of the IWRM model. We argue that efforts to transition to IWRM-style governance are likely to be accompanied by stealthy, scale-based interventions. We use the concepts of “standardized packages” and “boundary objects” to raise questions about the degree to which use of such tactics should be interpreted as evidence of a broader hegemonic project to further imbricate neoliberal governmentality, as the literature on post-politics would suggest, or whether eco-scaling and careful circumscription of participation are simply the most convenient strategies for those charged with difficult and complex tasks.

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... However, in practice, balancing scientific expertise and stakeholder interests is a challenge (Ward et al. 2017), and it is unclear whether citizen groups are willing and able to deal with the available technical information (Swyngedouw 2014;Bryson et al. 2013;Lemos et al. 2010). It is uncertain how relevant, salient, and credible scientific information is to stakeholders whose livelihoods hinge on outcomes (Cash et al. 2003). ...
... Using a sub-national long-term water quantity planning process of the Yellowstone Basin Advisory Council (YBAC), we examine how one citizen advisory group engaged with available technical and scientific data and incorporated this information into its deliberations. We draw on empirical evidence captured during the YBAC meetings (Anderson et al. 2016a(Anderson et al. , 2016b(Anderson et al. , 2018Hall et al. 2016;Ward et al. 2017) to illustrate the dynamics of how information was used. First, we explain the Yellowstone River Basin, the YBAC, and how we came to follow the group so closely. ...
... Perhaps, it is not entirely dysfunctional to sideline science in order for a planning process to move ahead. On the other hand, our research forces us to recognize that the push to Bmove ahead^forestalls meaningful public engagement with scientific information.. Will current formulations of best practices for environmental planning require not only the muting of particular stakeholder and special interest viewpoints (Cooke and Kothari 2001; Ward et al. 2017), but also the sidelining of particular scientific information in order to achieve results in a timely fashion? ...
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In 2013, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation engaged twenty citizens with diverse water interests as the Yellowstone Basin Advisory Council (YBAC). The purpose of the YBAC was to provide basin-specific recommendations for an updated water plan. Our research group documented the degree to which the YBAC incorporated scientific and technical information into its deliberations and final recommendations. Based on empirical evidence, this study illuminated three dynamics that discouraged the group’s use of certain sets of scientific and technical information. However, we also found that the convening managers, technical experts, and YBAC members were operating as pragmatic participants who created deliberative spaces where tensions between conflicting goals and values did not need to be addressed head-on. We argue that because this pragmatism guided certain scientific issues to the sideline, it helped the group pre-empt conditions of intractability that would otherwise threaten the overall collaborative process. While the sidelining was important in terms of “getting things done,” it, nonetheless, marginalized some important scientific issues. To validate and advance our findings, we presented the YBAC case, the dynamics that sidelined science, and our corrective recommendations to water resources professionals. We then solicited their ideas for specific strategies they might employ to avoid sidelining essential scientific and technical information. As a research innovation, their inputs help close the loop between critical observations and practice.
... Since Q's introduction to geography (Robbins and Krueger 2000), 1 however, many geographers question its positivist foundations, instead employing Q reflexively to understand the researcher's role within knowledge production (Eden, Donaldson, and Walker 2005). Much of this research seeks to employ Q more critically by analyzing the results as the product of contextually contingent power relations (Duenckmann 2010;Brannstrom 2011;Brannstrom, Jepson, and Persons 2011;Jepson, Brannstrom, and Persons 2012;Clare, Krogman, and Caine 2013;Ward 2013;Ormerod 2017;Ward et al. 2017). ...
... Theory Empirical Q has a small but growing presence in human geography, especially in the subfield of human-environment interactions. Q is used to examine diverse topics such as rurality (L opez-i-Gelats, T abara, and Bartolom e 2009; Duenckmann 2010), environmental knowledge (Robbins 2000(Robbins , 2006Eden, Donaldson, and Walker 2005;Forrester et (Fisher and Brown 2009;Wolsink and Breukers 2010;Brannstrom, Jepson, and Persons 2011;Cotton and Devine-Wright 2011;Jepson, Brannstrom, and Persons 2012;Frate and Brannstrom 2017), and environmental governance (Brannstrom 2011;Clare, Krogman, and Caine 2013;Sandbrook, Fisher, and Vira 2013;Ward 2013;Cotton 2015;Frate and Brannstrom 2015;Fry, Brannstrom, and Sakinejad 2017;Ormerod 2017;Ward et al. 2017;Vaas et al. 2019). Such work illustrates how researchers productively apply Q to transgress qualitative-quantitative dichotomies in geographic research by supplementing, rather than seeking to replace, commonly employed qualitative methods. ...
... Q is also combined with other methods, including questionnaires (C. Hall 2008), participant observation (Ward 2013), discourse analysis (L opez-i-Gelats, T abara, and Bartolom e 2009; Clare, Krogman, and Caine 2013), focus groups (Ward et al. 2017;Lehrer and Sneegas 2018), photographic analysis (Robbins 2000;O'Neill et al. 2013), GIS (Hawthorne, Krygier, and Kwan 2008;Fry, Brannstrom, and Sakinejad 2017), and participatory mapping (Forrester et al. 2015). ...
Article
Q methodology combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to measure subjectivity by identifying shared worldviews among participants. Since Q methodology was first introduced to human geography by Robbins and Krueger (2000), a nascent body of “critical Q” research has emerged among researchers who employ Q methodology in critical, reflexive, and innovative ways. In particular, this body of work questions the positivist foundations of standard Q methodology as a supposedly “objective” measure of subjectivity. However, while many such analyses use Q methodology to identify and analyse discourses, few explicitly engage the field of critical discourse analysis. This paper argues that discourse analysis has been “blackboxed” in geographic Q scholarship, and outlines four key moments in the standard Q methodology protocol where researchers may productively integrate critical discourse analysis. In so doing, this paper argues that juxtaposing the “messiness” of critical discourse analysis and the “tidiness” of Q methodology exposes productive tensions, gaps, and contradictions that provide key moments for interrogation and critical reflexivity. Keywords: Q methodology, discourse analysis, reflexivity, subjectivity, mixed methods
... The limitations of participatory modes of governance (in water management and beyond), despite its deepening hegemony (Swyngedouw, 2005), are well documented. For instance, these efforts are often undermined by the persistence of state agendas Cooke & Kothari, 2001;Wolsink, 2006), unequal power relations among stakeholder participants (Bakker, 2007;O'Riordan, Mahon, and McDonagh, 2015;Ward, Anderson, McEvoy, Gilbertz, & Hall, 2017), funding and scheduling constraints (Lurie & Hibbard, 2008;Maynard, 2013), the lack of stakeholder accountability, and pragmatic difficulties of productively dealing with conflict (Dodge & Lee, 2017;Ramsey, 2008). Participants must also be capable of stepping outside of their various worldviews (and the power relations within which they are situated), something that is rarely achieved in practice (Mouffe, 1999). ...
... While boundary objects have typically been examined as physical objects (i.e. maps) or concepts (i.e. the watershed scale) (Cohen, 2012;Comber, Fisher, & Wadsworth, 2003;Star and Griesemer, 1989;Ward et al., 2017), this study extends this analysis to include the boundary work performed by hegemonic legal doctrines, such as PA. During the YBAC planning process, there was broad agreement among YBAC members and state officials that PA would remain the law of the land (despite its acknowledged deficiencies). ...
... This study is based on a wider research project (see Ward et al., 2017) that documented the planning process of the YBAC. 2 The YBAC met 18 times over 18 months and adopted over 50 specific planning recommendations. 3 The 20 YBAC members were comprised of 10 representatives of agriculture, 4 in industry, 4 in recreation/conservation, 1 representing municipalities, and 1 representing tribal interests (Gilbertz, Ward, & Hall, 2013). ...
Article
This study deepens our understanding of the institutional limitations of participatory water planning. Based on an analysis of a participatory planning effort in Montana, U.S.A., we examine the ways in which prior appropriation (PA), an established legal doctrine based on privatized water rights, both constrains and enables the effective functioning of this mode of governance to enhance water conservation practices. In one situation, a state-led proposal to require water-use measuring was undermined by strong libertarian resistance to governmental regulation. As an expression of path dependency, PA redirected the deliberations back to the status-quo. Yet, in another state-led proposal, PA functioned as a boundary object that helped garner consensual support for what is effectively an alternative water sharing plan based on ‘shared sacrifice.’ In this second case, PA functioned as a pragmatic means to facilitate conservation practices to address future projections of growing water scarcity and drought. The study empirically examines the discursive framework of both policy recommendations and the mechanisms that led to their seemingly divergent receptions from planning participants. Evidence is drawn from a systematic content analysis of video recording transcriptions, ethnographic notes taken during meetings, and key interactions observed among planning participants and the research team.
... We conducted these two steps of analysis with the specific intention of obtaining an additional layer of information with which to compare and interpret the different idealized Q-sorts of each Q-factor (cf. Ward et al. 2017). In step 1, we considered the Q-sorts of all 277 participants. ...
... In compiling our comparatively small Q-set (23 statements), we were particularly concerned with increasing the willingness to participate through a relatively short online survey (cf. Ward et al. 2017). Our target audience for the online survey were the inhabitants of the case study communities, and we therefore had to assume that the general interest in participating in a survey about spatial planning and soil management would be rather low. ...
... Cluster 3 is related to the concept of politics and policy, and an example of it can be found in the article by Ward et al., (2017). This study which was conducted on the Yellowstone river management locus explained that the State has a role in a reformative manner for the integration of watershed management. ...
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Currently watershed governance still involves many stakeholders from different territories, ranging from local to crosscountry , and also, different social, political, cultural, and economic factors. Therefore, this study aims to categorize the themes or concepts related to watershed management studies. Through descriptive analysis and the help of the Nvivo-12 software, 383 Scopus indexed paper articles, which were published by major publishers such as Emerald, MDPI, Sage, ScienceDirect, Springer, Taylor and Francis, were obtained. The results indicate that there are 155 concepts in the watershed governance study, and they can be categorized into 6 groups. Furthermore, they are also related to dominant themes such as water resources, governance, watershed, environment, local issue, and policy. The significance of this study is the discovery of the concept of watershed governance studies; therefore, it can assist in the development of conceptual frameworks in future studies. Meanwhile, the limitation of this study is that the articles it reviewed were obtained from only the Scopus database, therefore, it does not have comparable data. Consequently, future studies need to use a comparative analysis approach which involves both the Scopus and the Web of Sciences (WoS) databases.
... La metodología Q fue propuesta por Stephenson (1953) en el ámbito de la psicología, aunque se emplea cada vez más en otras disciplinas de las ciencias sociales. Esta metodología se ha utilizado especialmente en estudios de ciencias políticas (Alderson et al., 2018;Dryzek, 2005), economía ecológica (Barry y Proops, 1999), nutrición (Yarar y Orth, 2018), política ambiental (Ward et al., 2017) y estudios rurales (Di Masso y Zografos, 2015;Mandolesi et al., 2015;Zografos, 2007) La metodología Q permite identificar el alcance y las características de visiones relevantes, o discursos, sobre un tema. Para ello utiliza el análisis factorial para agrupar a las personas de acuerdo con la forma en que interpretan las afirmaciones sobre un tema, a diferencia de los enfoques tradicionales de análisis factorial, que buscan correlaciones entre características (McKeown y Thomas, 2013). ...
Thesis
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Today, the development of more sustainable food systems is a high priority in both research and international policy agendas, where dynamic social, environmental, and economic issues are setting new scenarios in relation to the increasingly global food system. These challenges have resulted in the emergence of collective and individual responses within territories, one being the Alternative Food Networks (AFN), and particularly important among these networks are Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC). In this context, the overall objective of this thesis is to analyse the influence of the territory on the configuration and operation of short food supply chains (SFSC) in a place-based approach, in other words in the territorial short food supply chains (TSFSC), and to quantify the effects of this influence on the sustainability and food governance of the territory. For this purpose, a methodology has been designed and implemented to tackle the three main issues of this thesis: territory, sustainability, and governance. First, for the territory analysis, an in-depth literature review was carried out to advance the main concepts and features of the TSFSC. Later, these features were illustrated at the practical level in two urban case studies, one in Bogotá (Colombia) and another in Córdoba (Spain) through an Analysis of Social Networks. Subsequently, territorial factors such as public food policies, networks, production support, and education-based processes were prioritized to foster TSFSCs. Secondly, for the analysis of sustainability, an Analytic Network Process (ANP) model was designed to analyze the opinion of stakeholders in Bogotá and Córdoba on a broad set of criteria and sub-criteria for the sustainability of food distribution alternatives, such as global-scale food distribution and TSFSCs. And thirdly, the Q method and other qualitative methods were used for the analysis of food governance. The results demonstrated that TSFSCs proved to be a form of collective action that enhances relational capital and territorial roots. In particular, the connections with alternative economies, the participation of small producers and the development of trust are highlighted as important factors. They were more sustainable in all the sub-criteria evaluated, and therefore constitute the most sustainable option for food distribution at the territorial level of Bogotá and Córdoba. It highlighted its contribution to ecosystem services, equity, territorial cohesion, and employment generation. However, it is necessary to improve the affordability for low-income consumers, farmers’ incomes, and the reduction of food waste. Lastly, a reflexive food governance is shaped on TSFSCs, where the participation processes take relevant importance, and a networked governance based on principles of trust and reciprocity are built among stakeholders. The results obtained reveal an element that is key for food policies to have an impact— policies for the food territory must consider the actors and relations between production, consumption, transformation, and distribution of food that often transcend the local level, and therefore need a territorial cohesion approach. In both cities, the promotion of alternative networks is necessary, especially in the commercial sphere. These processes could be boosted by public procurement policies.
... In order to maintain a society centred around the promotion of neoliberal logic, post-political planning limits and manages the capacity of stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes. Tokenistic participatory planning is emblematic of the post-political condition (Mouffe 2005;Purcell 2008;Swyngedouw 2009;Ward et al. 2017). Elites choreograph tokenistic participation around a restricted vision of a society based on free-market neoliberalism (Swyngedouw 2011b;Raco 2014). ...
Chapter
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Marine spatial planning (MSP) has been lauded as a remedy to unsuitable marine management. There is, however, growing MSP research illustrating that it is failing to foster paradigm shifts towards sustainable governance. The gap between MSP theory and practice is due to its asocial and apolitical implementation. This narrow version of MSP has been advanced through post-political planning and uncritical rationalities. The result is a choreographed form of MSP, with clearly defined outcomes that serve the needs of elite actors rather than the public interest. This chapter argues that to recapture its democratising potential, MSP requires explicit engagement with politics and power. We highlight the use of the boundary object lens and citizen science as two potential avenues to facilitate this engagement.
... 4 In short, participatory governance has yet to yield much in the way of substantively empowering local actors (whether incorporating GIS or not). Rather, state and elite actors have typically retained the power and authority to govern (see Ward et al., 2017) through institutional structures that merely appear more inclusive and democratic. In the process, participants are often relegated to stamp-holders for an array of class-prioritizing policies imposed by privileged actors within a governing arena where the stakeholders (i.e. ...
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Participatory GIS (PGIS) emerged from the contentious GIS debates of the 1990s as a means of political intervention in issues of social and environmental justice. PGIS has since matured into a distinct subfield in which GIS is used to enhance the political engagement of historically marginalized people and to shape political outcomes through mapping. However, this has proven to be difficult work. We suggest that this is because PGIS, particularly in its community development incarnations, though well-intentioned in endeavoring to enhance the voices of the excluded, is inherently limited because it primarily aims to enhance the inclusion and participation of the historically marginalized by working within established frameworks of institutionalized governance in particular places. This, we suggest, has left this mode of PGIS ill-equipped to truly challenge the political-economic structures responsible for (re)producing the very conditions of socioeconomic inequality it strives to ameliorate. As a result, we argue that PGIS has become de-politicized, operating within, rather than disrupting, existing spheres of political-economic power. Moving forward, we suggest that PGIS is in need of being retheorized by engaging with the emergent post-politics literature and related areas of critical social and political theory. We argue that by adopting a more radical conception of democracy, justice, and "the political," PGIS praxis can be recentered around disruption rather than participation and, ultimately, brought closer to its self-proclaimed goal of supporting progressive change for the historically marginalized.
... I selected Q Methodology as a substantive, theoretical, and methods-based approach to identify normative dimensions of common sense because it is a robust method that "enables a program of empirical-contextual research, emphasizing both the interpretive experience and the concrete context of subjectivity" (Robbins and Krueger, 2000: 636). Q research has provided insight into different values related to changes in the environment, such as perspectives on water security (Strickert et al., 2016), wildlife management (Robbins, 2006), wind energy development (Jepson et al., 2012), and integrated water resource management (Leong and Lejano, 2016;Ward, 2013;Ward et al., 2017). Q methodologists have also surveyed perspectives of both lay community members and technical professionals regarding water recycling in Australia (Browne et al., 2007(Browne et al., , 2008, Singapore (Leong, 2015), and the U.S. and Namibia (Leong, 2016). ...
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The potential to supplement potable water supplies with highly treated municipal wastewater, or sewage, is of increasing interest to water planners in many parts of the world. Most of the current social science focuses on public acceptance, however there is a relative lack of research that explores the subjectivity of people who are involved with water recycling or water planning. This study draws on Gramscian theories of governance and Q Methodology to analyze common sense principles that are held by water stewards who currently govern potable water reuse in the southwestern United States. Two competing perspectives emerged from the analyses, which I label neosanitarian and ecosanitarian. Drawing upon tenets established in the Progressive Era, neosanitarians believe that use of recycled water is an appropriate way to expand urban drinking water supplies. Drawing upon tenets established in ecology, ecosanitarians are not opposed to potable water recycling, however they are also interested in radical alternatives to the sanitary status quo. For example, neosanitarians favor advanced wastewater treatment, while ecosanitarians prefer composting toilets and preventative actions. Differences between the common sense views pivot on ideas about the most appropriate technology but also reflect contested visions of ideal society.
... Moreover, consensus, one of the primary goals of this mode of governance, has been less about stakeholders productively working together to generate enhanced solutions to pressing problems than effectively establishing what Mouffe (1999) has called a form of 'provisional hegemony', the result of some actors overpowering or silencing others by suppressing substantive debate. 2 In short, participatory governance has yet to yield much in the way of substantively empowering local actors (whether incorporating GIS or not). Rather, state and elite actors have typically retained the power and authority to govern (see Ward et al., 2017) through institutional structures that merely appear more inclusive and democratic. In the process, participants are often relegated to stamp-holders for an array of class-prioritizing policies imposed by privileged actors within a governing arena where the stakeholders (i.e. ...
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Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett explore the practical and conceptual implications of a new approach to international environmental governance. Their proposed approach, juristic democracy, emphasizes the role of the citizen rather than the nation-state as the source of legitimacy in international environmental law; it is rooted in local knowledge and grounded in democratic deliberation and consensus. The aim is to construct a global jurisprudence based on collective will formation. Building on concepts presented in their previous book, the award-winning Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence, Baber and Bartlett examine in detail the challenges that consensus poses for a system of juristic democracy. Baber and Bartlett analyze the implications of deliberative consensus for rule-bounded behavior, for the accomplishment of basic governance tasks, and for diversity in a politically divided and culturally plural world. They assess social science findings about the potential of small-group citizen panels to contribute to rationalized consensus, drawing on the extensive research conducted on the use of juries in courts of law. Finally, they analyze the place of juristic democracy in a future “consensually federal” system for earth system governance.
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Based on the need for meaningful political responses to socionatural change, in this article we develop an interim politics of resourcefulness as a strategy for addressing the limitations of postpolitical environmental governance. Drawing on political and epistemological insights of third-world feminism as well as an ongoing collaborative with environmental justice organizations in West Atlanta, we argue that visions for just socionatural futures must necessarily be generated in conversation with historically marginalized communities. We offer an interim politics of resourcefulness as one way of forging those kinds of engagements between academic researchers and communities, and describe the forms that such engagements have taken in our own research.
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Integrated water resources management provides an often-recommended governance framework to manage water resources in a sustainable way. The application of this framework on Transboundary Rivers brings additional challenges, which can be exacerbated due to climate changes and extremes (such as droughts). These changes affect the operation of water infrastructures and will affect water management practices. Thus, the understanding and development of adaptation measures (across socio-economic, environmental and administrative systems) are critical, mainly on drought prone transboundary river basins. The paper draws on research conducted to 1) assess climatic risks in those watersheds, 2) describe the challenges in water resources management in the context of climate change, and 3) draw lessons for improving the use of research-based information. Two case studies were selected, the Colorado River Basin (North America) and the Guadiana River (Iberian Peninsula), the latter of which in the context of the five river basins shared between Portugal and Spain. Research and experience in these Basins show that several paradoxes in multistate water management and governance across borders militate against the accurate assessment of socio-economic impacts and the effective use of scientific information for meeting short-term needs in reducing longer-term vulnerabilities. Lessons drawn from both studies, but not always learned in practice, abound. These lessons include an expanded use of incentives for improving collaboration, water-use efficiency, demand management and for the development of climate services to inform water-related management as new threats arise. Recommendations are established for more effectively linking risk assessment approaches with resilience strategies that are applicable in practice and available to decision makers in a changing climate.
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This paper argues for a closer inspection of how tolerance and politics interact. Within geography and beyond there is rising concern about post-political situations, whereby potential disagreements are foreclosed and situated beyond the remit of political debate. This is conceptualised as a process of de-politicisation that operates ‘much more effectively’ than alternative ways in which politics can be and has been disavowed (Žižek, 1999: 198). While Žižek associates liberal tolerance with the post-political condition, however, theories of tolerance are at odds over whether it represents an everyday enactment of the political. Although some authors have indeed associated tolerance with a depoliticising tendency (Brown, 2006), others insist that certain types of tolerance are capable of nurturing simultaneous recognition and disagreement, which directly contradicts the conditions of post-politics (Forst, 2003). We therefore ask, contra Žižek, whether certain forms of tolerance can be an antidote to the post-political practice of foreclosing politics, and offer a set of considerations pertinent to the geographical analysis of this issue.
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The concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) has stimulated a productive international dialogue, but is criticized as being ambiguous or a tool of the establishment and unresponsive to important needs. However, its broad scope actually enables it to provide a common language, facilitate policy discussions, catalogue management practices, and support education and capacity building. Similar criticisms can be levelled at integrated paradigms in other sectors, and even the process of water management itself. IWRM faces challenges because water policy is often subordinated to policies of other sectors and because of the unique attributes of water.
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This paper explores what role Rancière's work can play in the struggle for a more democratic world. It highlights the strength of Rancière's conception of democracy, which clearly identifies democracy as a popular disruption of the prevailing police order. This order claims to have assigned a proper role to all parts of society. Democracy for Rancière is when an element emerges that has not been taken account of and demonstrates the police order's claim to be false. Among the many benefits of this way of understanding democracy, it upsets any easy association between hegemony and democracy – as in Laclau & Mouffe – and it refuses utterly the ideological fusing of democracy, capitalism, and the state offered by the liberal-democratic-capitalist consensus. However, Rancière's approach also introduces significant limits on democracy because it denies that democracy can ever do more than disrupt the prevailing order. It does not allow for the possibility that democracy can grow and spread to the point that it becomes pervasive in the polity. This paper uses the case of the Egyptian uprising to show how this limitation closes off important political possibilities. The paper argues that Deleuze & Guattari's theorisation of revolution, when used carefully, is a necessary corrective to Rancière's too-restricted concept of democracy
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The Progressive Era attempt to 'depoliticize' environmental governance was of course an utter failure for a host of reasons: powerful economic and political interests found or made entry points into supposedly sealed-off arenas, eventually culminating in the phenomenon of agency capture. Scientists and technocrats carried their own politics into their work, consciously or unconsciously; the people affected by new property relations and management regimes resisted and reconfigured the newly emergent socionatures in their areas in a variety of ways, producing a reality more complicated than, and often at odds with, the superficially clear official policy; and so on. It is certainly true that capitalism operating through the juridical framework of liberal states is all but completely taken for granted as the framework for any responses to climate change in formal policy circles, and that that is tremendously limiting politically.
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Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement, two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints: standardization of methods, and the development of `boundary objects'. Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms.
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This paper explores the ways in which practices of asylum governance serve to depoliticise those seeking asylum in the UK. In critiquing claims over the “post-political” nature of contemporary governance, the paper proposes a focus upon situated practices of depoliticisation which displace those seeking asylum through the production of specific sites of accommodation and specific discourses of risk, security and moralised concern. The paper questions the tendency within “post-political” thought to strip the potential of modes of informal citizenship through arguing that minor acts of resistance are ineffectual and illusory. In response, the paper explores irregular migrant's “acts of citizenship”, and suggests that such prosaic acts can be powerful forms of political interruption through which new ways of seeing asylum are constructed. The paper concludes by suggesting that an incremental politics orientated around such acts of interruption is essential to challenge the material, affective and discursive closures of asylum domopolitics.
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With the rise of new powerful statistical techniques and GIS tools, the development of predictive habitat distribution models has rapidly increased in ecology. Such models are static and probabilistic in nature, since they statistically relate the geographical distribution of species or communities to their present environment. A wide array of models has been developed to cover aspects as diverse as biogeography, conservation biology, climate change research, and habitat or species management. In this paper, we present a review of predictive habitat distribution modeling. The variety of statistical techniques used is growing. Ordinary multiple regression and its generalized form (GLM) are very popular and are often used for modeling species distributions. Other methods include neural networks, ordination and classification methods, Bayesian models, locally weighted approaches (e.g. GAM), environmental envelopes or even combinations of these models. The selection of an appropriate method should not depend solely on statistical considerations. Some models are better suited to reflect theoretical findings on the shape and nature of the species’ response (or realized niche). Conceptual considerations include e.g. the trade-off between optimizing accuracy versus optimizing generality. In the field of static distribution modeling, the latter is mostly related to selecting appropriate predictor variables and to designing an appropriate procedure for model selection. New methods, including threshold-independent measures (e.g. receiver operating characteristic (ROC)-plots) and resampling techniques (e.g. bootstrap, cross-validation) have been introduced in ecology for testing the accuracy of predictive models. The choice of an evaluation measure should be driven primarily by the goals of the study. This may possibly lead to the attribution of different weights to the various types of prediction errors (e.g. omission, commission or confusion). Testing the model in a wider range of situations (in space and time) will permit one to define the range of applications for which the model predictions are suitable. In turn, the qualification of the model depends primarily on the goals of the study that define the qualification criteria and on the usability of the model, rather than on statistics alone.