“No time for nonsense!”: The organization of learning and its limits in evolving governance

AuthorKristof Van Assche,Raoul Beunen,Stefan Verweij,Joshua Evans,Monica Gruezmacher
Published date01 August 2022
Date01 August 2022
Subject MatterEditorial
Administration & Society
2022, Vol. 54(7) 1211 –1225
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/00953997221093695
“No time for nonsense!”:
The organization of
learning and its limits in
evolving governance
Kristof Van Assche1,2, Raoul Beunen3,
Stefan Verweij4, Joshua Evans5,
and Monica Gruezmacher1,6
This essay introduces and frames the contributions to the special issue
on learning and co-evolution in governance. It develops the argument
that learning, dark learning and non-learning are necessarily entwined in
governance, moreover, entwined in a pattern unique to each governance
configuration and path. What can be learned collectively for the common
good, what kind of knowledge and learning can be strategically used and
shamelessly abused, and which forms of knowledge remain invisible,
intentionally and unintentionally, emerges in a history of co-evolution of
actors and institutions, power and knowledge, in governance. Learning
becomes possible in a particular form of management of observation, of
transparency and opacity, where contingency is precariously mastered by
governance systems expected to provide certainty for communities.
1093695AAS0010.1177/00953997221093695Administration & SocietyVan Assche et al.
1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada
2Center for Development Studies (ZEF), Bonn University, Germany
3Department of Environmental Governance, Open University, The Netherlands
4Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, University of Groningen, The
5Department of Geography, University of Alberta, Canada
6School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus Memorial University,
Corresponding Author:
Kristof Van Assche, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of
Alberta, AB, Canada.
Email: vanassch@ualberta.ca

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