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


  • Andreas Thiel
  • Catrin Egerton


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Thiel & Catrin Egerton, 2011. "Re-scaling of resource governance as institutional change: the case of water governance in Portugal," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(3), pages 383-402.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:54:y:2011:i:3:p:383-402 DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.507936

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiel, Andreas, 2014. "Developing an analytical framework for reconstructing the scalar reorganization of water governance as institutional change: The case of Southern Spain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 378-391.
    2. repec:eee:juipol:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:29-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Thiel, Andreas, 2012. "The politics of problem solving: A co-evolutionary perspective on the recent scalar reorganisation of water governance in Germany," UFZ Discussion Papers 09/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    4. Thiel, Andreas, 2013. "Towards Understanding the Scalar Re-Organisation of Natural Resource Governance: Factors Derived from Water Governance in Spain, Portugal and Germany," 53rd Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 25-27, 2013 156967, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    5. Thiel, Andreas & Schleyer, Christian & Hinkel, Jochen & Schlüter, Maja & Hagedorn, Konrad & Bisaro, Sandy & Bobojonov, Ihtiyor & Hamidov, Ahmad, 2016. "Transferring Williamson's discriminating alignment to the analysis of environmental governance of social-ecological interdependence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 159-168.


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