Instituting Change

Canadian Water Politics: Conflicts and Institutions
Mark Sproule-Jones, Carolyn Johns, B. Timothy Heinmiller (eds.)
Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press
2008, 360 pages.

Institutions and Environmental Change: Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers
Oran R. Young, Leslie A. King and Heike Schroeder (eds.)
Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press
2008, 400 pages.

Admitting a keen interest in policy reform won’t make you popular at cocktail parties. Trust me. But policy is simply shorthand for decisions that determine our collective action, and those havea way of exciting people. The rights, rules and procedures that we use to make decisions and take action are woven
together by the machinery of institutions. While confirming that institutions are important, both Canadian Water Politics and Institutions and Environmental Change describe how we might tinker with, or even renovate, institutions so that they make better decisions – particularly environmental ones.

Canadian Water Politics addresses a fundamental problem in managing water: the incompatibility between the fluid properties of the resource and the seemingly immutable characteristics of its management. Institutions give rise to social practices and guide social interactions, and in this context, Canadian Water Politics examines how institutions mediate, amplify,… [Click here to read more!] Continue reading Instituting Change