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Biomass in Veenhuizen, coalition of conflict? Research on coalition behavior in the biomass project for the prisons in Veenhuizen

Uitdewilligen, S.B.J. (2013) Biomass in Veenhuizen, coalition of conflict? Research on coalition behavior in the biomass project for the prisons in Veenhuizen.

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Abstract:This research is aimed at exploring the prospects of coalition behavior in a innovative biomass project in the prison-village of Veenhuizen. In this unique project the ambition is to use local biomass as resource for energy for the prisons in Veenhuizen. This project entails new ways of working for the government and new perceptions on the use of waste, energy, decentralized energy procurement and more. It appears not to be self-evident that a network forms. The obstacles are not in technological issues but rather it is a question of how to connect the dots in a political setting where different actors have different views and perceptions on the issue. The starting point of research is the Advocacy Coalition Framework. This framework (fist developed by Paul Sabatier in the late-eighties and developed in the decades that followed) is interesting for its focus on policy change. In a policy subsystem various advocacy coalition exist alongside each other. Interactions between advocacy coalition cause policy oriented learning and policy change. Sabatier states that congruent policy beliefs are the glue between coalition. Further elaborations on this framework (especially Fenger Klok 2001) combine beliefs with resource-dependencies in explaining coalition behavior (coordination or conflict). The research question is as follows; What are the prospects of coalition behavior in the case ‘Green energy for the prisons in Veenhuizen’, when considering belief systems and interdependencies as determinants of coalition behavior? This research is set during preliminary stages of the biomass project, decisions are yet to be taken. All to this stage relevant policy actors are involved in this research. These are different governmental organizations and potential biomass suppliers. Data is collected by conducting interviews and, specific for examining beliefs, using a questionnaire. The interdependencies seem to be to large extend symbiotic. Resources of all involved organizations could add up in positive sum game. Beliefs however appear differ between the respondents. These beliefs do not only concern topics like biomass or sustainability. Broader underlying topics appear to be just as (or more) decisive in the course of the project. Two broad clusters of respondents can be distinguished. One are mainly the regional and local governmental organizations, strongly favoring the biomass project (mainly for stimulating regional development). This is a coalition with expected future coordination, caused by high belief congruency symbiotic interdependencies. A second cluster (mainly consisting of national governmental actors) is characterized by rather indifference towards the project and beliefindependency.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Dienst Landelijk Gebied
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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