During the last few decades, extreme weather events and global and regional economic crises have been forcing us to rethink the way that governments approach territorial development. The inherent links between social, economic, and ecological systems are proving to be increasingly significant, and exist only in a complex whole characterised by multiple feedbacks (Berkes et al. 2002). In this light, managing the relationship between the social, economic, and ecological aspects of development is of paramount importance for those interested in establishing sustainable development trajectories in the long-run. This is particularly true since the COVID-19 pandemic has added further entropy to the picture . During the early stages of the pandemic, decision making, regulations, and communication had converged at the national level. However, throughout the course of the pandemic, there has been growing room for improvement in policy-making. As such, there is a need to rethink development objectives and their governance according to a new long-term perspective – one that takes better account of different issues and needs. Key concepts such as multi-level governance, place-based development, circular economy, and the localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals can all help Western Balkan countries to achieve a better quality of life while preserving productivity, social inclusion, and the environment (Cotella and Vitale Brovarone, 2020). However, to develop territorial governance systems to support secure, long-term societal development is particularly challenging (Lambin, 2005), and requires the introduction of forms of territorial governance that explicitly take into account the possibility for immediate and long-term change (Dietz et al., 2003; Folke et al., 2005). ‘Adaptive’ governance models and mechanisms are those that are able to address uncertainty through continuous learning and feature the involvement of multiple actors and levels in decision and policy making processes. Continuous knowledge sharing and learning is indeed a critical component when facing complex dynamics and uncertainty. It can be stimulated by networks that enable interaction between individuals and institutions at multiple levels and use those interactions to draw upon various knowledge systems and develop better policies (Adger, 2001; Olsson et al., 2006). In this light, adaptive territorial governance models rely on polycentric institutional arrangements that operate at multiple scales (McGinnis, 1999), balancing between centralised and decentralised control (Imperial, 1999). At the same time, these models should be flexible enough to re-organise and re-form through institutional arrangements that encourage reflection and innovative responses (Brunner et al., 2005; Folke et al., 2005). Since the first appearance of the concept in the early 2000s, (Dietz et al., 2003), the boundaries of adaptive governance have evolved significantly, particularly in relation to the governance of territorial development. However, an explicit research agenda on the matter has yet to coalesce. A synthesis of the literature concerning adaptive governance may contribute to the quest for new models of territorial governance that address the dynamic, large-scale nature of the most pressing crises, such as the 2008 global financial crisis that still projects its shadow over our economies and, more urgently, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Serving as an introduction to the 2020 Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, this editorial focuses on the concept of adaptive territorial governance in the face of COVID-19, with particular reference to the Western Balkan Region. After this brief introduction, the concept of adaptive governance is detailed in relation to its evolving boundaries. The challenges that may undermine the implementation of adaptive governance in practice are then reflected upon before a number of tentative research avenues in relation to the Western Balkans are brought forward. Finally, the various contributions that compose this volume and the way that each contributes to the debate are introduced to the reader.
Adaptive Territorial Governance in the Face of COVID-19 / Cotella, G.. - In: ANNUAL REVIEW OF TERRITORIAL GOVERNANCE IN THE WESTERN BALKANS. - ISSN 2707-9384. - ELETTRONICO. - 2/2020(2020), pp. 8-18.
|Titolo:||Adaptive Territorial Governance in the Face of COVID-19|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.32034/CP-TGWBAR-I02-01|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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