Representation in environmental governance: inclusion, authorisation and accountability in freshwater governance in Canterbury, New Zealand

2017-02-28T00:38:47Z (GMT) by Nissen, Sylvia Esther
This thesis sits at the intersection of two streams of literature that have thus far remained relatively isolated from one another. The first is the 'green' literature, which has been built around growing awareness of the need for new institutional arrangements to address the theoretical and practical challenges of governing the environment. The second relates to the recent 'renaissance' of the concept of representation as a result of its enriched and broadened redefinition. Although representation is deeply engrained within the process and outcomes of environmental governance, critical analysis of representation in an environmental context has lagged behind. In light of this oversight, this thesis seeks to bridge the two literatures by offering an empirical examination of the operation of the concept of representation in the case study of water governance in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Using document analysis, semi-structured interviews and participant observation, the analysis in this thesis explores the ways in which representation contributes to the development of legitimacy in modes of environmental governance and investigates how the concept of representation is enacted and given meaning by policy actors in practice. The findings emphasise that representation is a highly rewarding avenue of inquiry for scholarship on environmental governance and that the distinct priorities and understandings of an environmental context offer new meanings and interpretations for the concept of representation.