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Metaphors and Methods for Institutional Synthesis

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bruns, Bryan
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop 4
Location: Indiana University Bloomington
Conf. Date: June 3-6, 2009
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1336
Sector: Theory
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): institutional analysis--IAD framework
collective action
Abstract: "In the design space between blueprint panaceas and spontaneous order, what scope is there for deliberate institutional artisanship to apply ideas from institutional analysis and design (IAD) and related social science? "This paper briefly surveys approaches to improving institutional design, focusing on applications for irrigated waterscapes and other contexts of institutional diversity. Concepts such as building, balancing, aligning, crafting, fitting, adapting, improvising, and navigating institutions identify assumptions and opportunities for influencing changes in collective action. Analysis suggests what may be necessary, favorable, vulnerable, feasible, or ideal, but better strategies are needed to foster the synthesis of diverse institutions that are not just workable, but good. The range of approaches available may include not only offering examples, enforcement, funding, technical diagnosis, and facilitation processes, but also expanding options, switching starting points, challenging assumptions, asking about design principles, and appreciative inquiry. Examples from irrigation in northeast Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia illustrate challenges and opportunities for improving institutional artisanship."

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