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Bridging the legitimacy gap - translating theory into practical signposts for legitimate flood risk governance

Alexander, Meghan ORCID:, Doorn, Neelke and Priest, Sally 2018. Bridging the legitimacy gap - translating theory into practical signposts for legitimate flood risk governance. Regional Environmental Change 18 (2) , pp. 397-408. 10.1007/s10113-017-1195-4

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Legitimacy is widely regarded as a founding principle of ‘good’ and effective governance, yet despite intense academic debate and policy discourse, the concept remains conceptually confusing and poorly articulated in practice. To bridge this gap, this research performed an interpretive thematic analysis of academic scholarship across public administration, public policy, law, political science, and geography. Four core themes were identified in relation to representative deliberation, procedural and distributive equity and justice, and socio-political acceptability, with numerous sub-themes therein. In an attempt to clarify conceptual confusion, this paper grounds these theoretical debates in the context of flood risk governance where numerous legitimacy dilemmas exist. A number of questions are presented as conceptual ‘signposts’ to encourage reflexive governance in the future. Thus, more broadly, we assert the importance of bringing legitimacy to the forefront of contemporary flood risk governance discourse and practice, moving beyond the realm of academic reflection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1436-3798
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 23 June 2017
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 22:36

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