Saturday, April 10, 2010

PhD and Assistant Professor positions at PAP

Our Public Administration and Policy Group is looking for candidates for two new positions:

(1) PhD position on the framing and governance of climate adaptation

As announced informally earlier on this blog, the Public Administration and Policy Group at Wageningen University now offers a position for a 4-year PhD project on “Making sense of climate impacts: understanding and dealing with the variety of climate change frames in governance processes”.

The project is part of the broader Knowledge for Climate programme on the governance of climate adaptation, carried out by five Dutch and three international universities. The aim of the research is to understand the variety of perspectives or frames on climate change and to develop ways of dealing with controversies in governance processes for climate adaptation. In these processes, governmental, societal and business actors try to implement adaptation strategies that can protect vulnerable Dutch regions (or 'hotspots') from the impacts of climate change. Fluency in Dutch is required for this position.

More information on the "Governance of climate adaptation" consortium programme can be found here and here. More information about the PhD project can be found here.

To apply for this job (before April 25), go to

(2) Assistant Professor (Tenure Track position)

As an Assistant Professor you will participate in the research program “changing governance, governing change”. Within this context you can develop your own research line. You will cosupervise PhD’s and lecture public administration and governance to students both in social and natural sciences at Wageningen University. In addition, you are expected to contribute actively to the acquisition of research grants, consultancy and research projects. Both Dutch and international candidates are welcomed!

To apply for this job (before April 30), go to

Feel free to forward this information to colleagues or potential candidates.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

(Re)framing uncertainties in water management practice

The title of this post is also the title of the recently completed dissertation by Dr. (!) Nicola Isendahl at the University of Osnabrück. Before a commission consisting of Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Jens Newig, Carolin Rettig and myself, Nicola defended her dissertation succesfully on March 24th!

Apart from a theoretical and methodological discussion of uncertainties, frames and water management strategies, the dissertation summarizes the results of three journal articles. The third one (actually the second in the order of the dissertation), entitled "Using framing parameters to improve handling of uncertainties in water management practice" has just been published in Environmental Policy and Governance and can also be downloaded here. With an eye to practical usefulness, a recurring theme in Nicola's dissertation, the identified parameters or dimensions of how water managers frame uncertainties, are used as starting points for developing strategies for dealing with the uncertainties. Some of these strategies involve reframing how the uncertainties are understood to identify new options. This is a quote from the abstract:

"We apply recently developed parameters of the framing of uncertainty in two sub-basins of the Rhine, the Dutch Kromme Rijn and the German Wupper. We present and discuss the results of a series of stakeholder interactions in the two basins aimed at developing strategies for improving dealing with uncertainties. The strategies are amended and synthesized in a check-list based on the uncertainty framing parameters as a hands-on tool for systematically identifying improvement options when dealing with uncertainty in water management practice."

Given the policies of the University of Osnabrück, the whole dissertation should become publicly available soon.