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Re-scaling of resource governance as institutional change: the case of water governance in Portugal

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The paper complements work on the re-scaling of resource governance by developing a theoretical understanding based on the distributional theory of institutional change, and by examining the case of water governance in Portugal. Different from the reactions of other European Member States to the Water Framework Directive, the central water authority and multi-sectoral deconcentrated administrations lost competencies in favour of new water administrations. The level of water governance shifted from administrative districts to hydrographic regions. Significant players in this process were the central state and the Minister of the Environment. Our explanation considers time preferences, mental models, credibility and transaction and transition costs of governance, which affected the timing and content of the reform, and the paper compares the situation to the rest of Europe.
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Keywords: Portugal; institutional change; re-scaling; water governance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Resource Economics, Institute for Economic and Social Sciences of Agriculture, Faculty for Agriculture and Horticulture, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany 2: Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research (CENSE), Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Caparica, Portugal

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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