- Keep out of the Dairy Gateway: boundary work in deliberative governance in Wisconsin, USA
- Critical Policy Analysis
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Boundary work is the discursive demarcation of discourse and practice to gain authority,
credibility and legitimacy for this discourse. To study boundary work in experiments
with deliberative governance provides a way to describe the discursive struggles between
elements of the ‘government’ and the ‘governance’ discourse that arise when transitioning
from the hierarchical ‘government’ model to network cooperation in a ‘governance’
In the Dairy Gateway Project in Wisconsin, USA, participants agreed to build
voluntary networks that go beyond state requirements in environmental regulations.
They aimed to stimulate sustainable agriculture and community building. The Dairy
Gateway Project is an example of an experiment with deliberative governance.
Boundary work in the Dairy Gateway influenced the transition from ‘government’
discourse to ‘governance’ discourse in at least four ways: first, demarcations of elements
of the new deliberative governance discourse from normal government discourse gave
these elements more credibility, authority and legitimacy. Secondly, demarcations induced
reflective conversations. Thirdly, discursive demarcations indicated what elements of
discourse were considered credible, authoritative and legitimate. And finally, a
transcending of boundaries in an ambiguous boundary concept enabled the crossing of
boundaries not only between ‘government’ discourse and ‘governance’ discourse, but
also the boundaries between farming and environmental discourse and practice.
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