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Governing the ice. Ice fishing villages on Lake Mille Lacs and the creation of environmental governance institutions

Kristof Van Assche, Johannes Van Biesebroeck () and Jeff Holm

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2014, vol. 57, issue 8, 1122-1144

Abstract: We identify four choice dimensions that determine the configuration and evolution of governance: formal-informal institutions, network-central steering, local-scientific knowledge and representation-participation. Choices on one dimension affect choices on the other dimensions, which naturally leads to historical dependency. We integrate these insights in a model of governance evolution that revolves around actor/institution configurations and power/knowledge configurations. In a case study of ice fishing villages on Minnesota's Lake Mille Lacs, we investigate one specific set of couplings between the choice dimensions. As we can study the local ice fishing tradition from its very beginning, the evolutionary paths of technology and institutions provide insights into how choices were made along the different dimensions and how they interacted. The case study illustrates how to apply the model, but also contributes to its further development as it draws attention to possible extensions: concepts of scale and identity.

Date: 2014
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