Delineating Locals: Transformations of Knowledge/Power and the Governance of the Danube Delta

Kristof Van AsscheMartijn DuineveldRaoul Beunen & Petruta Teampau

In this paper, we adopt a Foucauldian perspective on power/knowledge interactions to investigate the evolution and implementation of policy for the Romanian Danube delta. We argue that a better understanding of the potential for citizen participation in environmental governance can be obtained from a careful analysis of the pathways of emergence, enactment and implementation of policies affecting an area. Policies are seen as temporary conceptual structures coordinating knowledge and power, in constant transmutation because of the confrontation with other power/knowledge configurations. For the Danube delta, it is argued that policies originating at various levels of government co-create a ‘local’ that is scrutinized, silenced, exoticized, subjugated and marginalized. Finally, we investigate the implications of this and similar processes of delineation of actors for participatory natural resource governance.

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