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Post-normal science in practice: a method proposal and its application to agricultural water management

Abstract : Agricultural water management in a typical case of problems requiring a post-normal approach: when facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decision urgent. Notwithstanding, putting in practice the principles of post-normal science is a difficult task, which challenges our capacity to bring together analytical and deliberative tools and methods, as well as our academic representations and models, as they often mask diversity. In this communication we report on a method we developed and implemented to have diverse stakeholders evaluate alternatives for water management in a French agricultural landscape suffering from water imbalance and social tensions. The method, which we labelled multi-actor multi-criteria evaluation combined with integrated assessment and modelling (MAMCE-IAM), is comprised of six steps: problem structuring, translation for modelling, integrated assessment and modelling, translation for evaluation, group evaluation and analysis and collective discussion. In the application of the method, we used the tool MAELIA, a modelling and simulation platform for water management issues, and the tool Kerbabel, a deliberation-support tool. The method proved successful in addressing post-normal challenges and especially useful for creating synergies between analytical stages and deliberation stages. Our understanding of water management issues progressed along with our capability to point out the most salient elements of debate in the case study. However, meeting those challenges raised new challenges. Especially, time constraints and reception of post-normal approach outside academia need to be better accounted for in the practice of post-normal science.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02738197, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 435229

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Sandrine Allain, Gaël Plumecocq, Delphine Burger-Leenhardt. Post-normal science in practice: a method proposal and its application to agricultural water management. 13. European IFSA Symposium, International Farming Systems Association (IFSA). AUT., Jul 2018, Chania, Greece. ⟨hal-02738197⟩

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