Next Article in Journal
Evaluation of Ecosystem Services in the Dongting Lake Wetland
Next Article in Special Issue
Reducing Hydro-Meteorological Risk by Nature-Based Solutions: What Do We Know about People’s Perceptions?
Previous Article in Journal
The Potential of Serious Games to Solve Water Problems: Editorial to the Special Issue on Game-Based Approaches to Sustainable Water Governance
Previous Article in Special Issue
Social Learning in Multilevel Flood Risk Governance: Lessons from the Dutch Room for the River Program
Open AccessArticle

Flood Risk and Resilience in the Netherlands: In Search of an Adaptive Governance Approach

Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Research Group on Politics and Public Governance, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2563;
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 5 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Governance for More Resilience)
In the Netherlands, dealing with the risk of flooding in the face of the current climate change requires a governance approach that is less based upon the long-standing tradition of prevention and protection, and more oriented toward ideas of resilience and adaptivity. Such an approach is assumed to be more resilient compared to static approaches and better equipped to deal with the indeterminate character of a problem like flood risk. This article presents the Dutch attempt to introduce a more polycentric and adaptive governance approach in flood management, called multilayered safety (MLS). We studied this approach via interviews and an extensive document study, and analyzed the institutions governing the issue using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework of Elinor Ostrom. For years, the issue was in the hands of a small network of actors, mainly occupied by water experts and governed by a strong lead organization and permanent bodies. While introducing a new, more adaptive policy concept the government encountered both resistance and inability within the existing policy regime. This article shows that the issue of flood safety was successfully ‘tamed’ for decades. Adopting a more adaptive and polycentric approach necessitates ‘untaming’ the issue of flood safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: IAD framework; adaptive governance; multi-level safety; untaming IAD framework; adaptive governance; multi-level safety; untaming
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Molenveld, A.; van Buuren, A. Flood Risk and Resilience in the Netherlands: In Search of an Adaptive Governance Approach. Water 2019, 11, 2563.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop