Reformulating ‘Holism' in hydropower decision-making

Authors: Kang, K.

Journal: Systems Research and Behavioral Science

Volume: 37

Issue: 2

Pages: 360-368

eISSN: 1099-1743

ISSN: 1092-7026

DOI: 10.1002/sres.2635

Abstract:

This paper investigates the necessary-impossible paradox facing hydropower decision-makers of the Mekong River Commission: that aspiring towards a holistic risk assessment is both socially useful and necessary, but also meaningless and impossible (because the future remains unknown). The thesis here is that to come to terms with this paradox, a Luhmannian inspired relational model offers superior analytical tools compared with an Aristotelian essentialist approach. This is because where the latter typically employs integrative approaches which attempt to show why through rational reasoning risk assessments are holistic, the former takes into account that holistic risk assessments are contingent on the observer, on an organisation's position within a network, and on the ‘temporal atoms' that mark the ‘time' of social systems. By employing a relational framework comprised of variation, selection and retention to capture this comparative sociology of the observer, the contribution here offers a radical reformulation of holism in hydropower decision-making.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33122/

Source: Scopus

Reformulating 'Holism' in hydropower decision-making

Authors: Kang, K.

Journal: SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE

Volume: 37

Issue: 2

Pages: 360-368

eISSN: 1099-1743

ISSN: 1092-7026

DOI: 10.1002/sres.2635

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33122/

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

Reformulating ‘Holism’ in hydropower decision‐making

Authors: Kang, K.

Journal: Systems Research and Behavioral Science

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISSN: 0005-7940

Abstract:

This paper investigates the necessary‐impossible paradox facing hydropower decision‐makers of the Mekong River Commission: that aspiring towards a holistic risk assessment is both socially useful and necessary, but also meaningless and impossible (because the future remains unknown). The thesis here is that to come to terms with this paradox, a Luhmannian inspired relational model offers superior analytical tools compared with an Aristotelian essentialist approach. This is because where the latter typically employs integrative approaches which attempt to show why through rational reasoning risk assessments are holistic, the former takes into account that holistic risk assessments are contingent on the observer, on an organisation's position within a network, and on the ‘temporal atoms’ that mark the ‘time’ of social systems. By employing a relational framework comprised of variation, selection and retention to capture this comparative sociology of the observer, the contribution here offers a radical reformulation of holism in hydropower decision‐making.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33122/

Source: Manual