Climate adaptation on the crossroads of multiple boundaries. Managing boundaries in a complex programme context

Saskia van Broekhoven*, Arwin van Buuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Programme management is increasingly used in The Netherlands to realize more integrated regional development, where different sectoral policy objectives are combined. To understand how integration of different objectives is realized in programme management approaches, it is important to have in depth knowledge on how actors manage social, cognitive and physical boundaries. Therefore, this article analyses how actors manage boundaries in a regional integrative programme. Within this case we focus on two integration attempts: one which has succeeded relatively well and one which was less successful. The analysis shows the importance of boundary spanning actions, such as jointly working on strategy documents, organizing events where actors can formally and informally interact, and the activities of a political change agent. Adding to previous insights, we find four additional explanations for successful integration which shed new light on how boundaries can be best managed in future programmatic approaches: the influence of contextual factors on boundary management and its success, the need to address both the social and cognitive dimension of boundaries, the need to make the programme attractive for the actors governing the issues it wants to integrate with, and the role of boundary drawing to create an understanding and respect for boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2368-2389
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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