Pesch U, Huitema D, Hisschemöller M, 2012, "A boundary organization and its changing environment: the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the MNP" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30(3) 487 – 503
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A boundary organization and its changing environment: the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the MNP
Udo Pesch, Dave Huitema, Matthijs Hisschemöller
Abstract. In this paper we address the way boundary organizations can accommodate tensions in the science – politics interface. Literature on boundary organizations suggests that this type of organization can provide stability in science – politics interaction, but how these organizations function over a longer period of time is not a point of theoretical or empirical attention. We study a boundary organization, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), by analyzing the ideas that guided the foundation of the MNP and by analyzing two cases in which the MNP advised Dutch policy makers. In both cases the MNP had to adjust its boundary orientation because of changes in its institutional context. These findings show that the dynamics involved in boundary organizations should be included in academic research. We conclude by discussing two conceptual frameworks that may help to capture these dynamics: the notion of ‘learning organizations’ and a typology of roles of experts in politics.
Keywords: science–politics, boundary organizations, contextual dynamics, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP)
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