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Scientific article
English

Assessing socio-technical resistance to public policy instruments: insights from water performance indicators in the Grenoble area (France)

Publication date2021
Abstract

This article puts forward the notion of socio-technical resistance with an application to the regulation through performance indicators in the water sector. Governance failures are mainly explained by concentrating on governance design, considering regulation as a set of control mechanisms. We propose an alternative perspective by putting the emphasis on socio-technical resistance to take into account both human and non-human actors in the governance process. We observe the misuse of performance indicators by local actors in urban water systems in Europe to highlight the empirical significance of socio-technical resistance. Results support that socio-technical resistance is frequent and reduces significantly the reliability of the information gathered through performance indicators. Drawing on a new typology of resistance, we show socio-technical resistance is a dynamic combination of cognitive, interpretative, territorial, strategic, technical and structural factors. These results and the proposed notion underline a crucial limitation of public policies and regulation in the process of policy instruments implementation and compliance. Empirically, it reveals particularly relevant to provide new insights on New public management and performance-based regulation, where measurement are crucial.

Keywords
  • Public policy
  • Water management
  • Mixed method
  • Performance indicators
  • Governance
Funding
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - InfraGouv (n° 196521)
Citation (ISO format)
BOLOGNESI, Thomas, BROCHET, Antoine, RENOU, Yvan. Assessing socio-technical resistance to public policy instruments: insights from water performance indicators in the Grenoble area (France). In: Environment and Planning. C, Government and Policy, 2021, p. 239965442098656. doi: 10.1177/2399654420986561
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Article (Published version)
accessLevelRestricted
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0263-774X
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6downloads

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