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Water 2013, 5(2), 356-378; doi:10.3390/w5020356

Action Research’s Potential to Foster Institutional Change for Urban Water Management

Department of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt University, Invalidenstrasse 42, Berlin D-10115, Germany
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Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 8 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 3 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Management)
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Abstract

The paper discusses the potential of action research to meet the challenges entailed in institutional design for urban water management. Our overall aim is to briefly present action research and discuss its methodological merits with regard to the challenges posed by the different conceptual bases for extrapolating the effects of institutional design on institutional change. Thus, our aim is to explore how Action Research meets the challenge of scoping the field in an open fashion for determining the appropriate mechanisms of institutional change and supporting the emerging of new water institutions. To accomplish this aim, we select the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as an illustrative driving force requiring changes in water management practices and implying the need for the emergence of new institutions. We employ a case of urban water management in the Volos Metropolitan Area, part of the Thessaly region in Greece, where a Pilot River Basin Plan was implemented. By applying action research and being involved in a long process of interaction between stakeholders, we examine the emergence of new institutions dealing with urban water management under the general principles of the major driving force for change: the WFD.
Keywords: action research; water framework directive; urban water management; institutional change; Volos action research; water framework directive; urban water management; institutional change; Volos
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zikos, D.; Thiel, A. Action Research’s Potential to Foster Institutional Change for Urban Water Management. Water 2013, 5, 356-378.

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