Democratic Legitimacy of New Forms of Water Management in the Netherlands
Due to changes in the Dutch flood management paradigm, governance practices have been shifting from technocratic and state-oriented towards more collaborative governance approaches in which many governmental actors, together with private and societal actors, search out integral solutions. This shift has had an impact on how water management is legitimized. This paper evaluates two water governance processes that reflect the new management paradigm in different ways, and analyzes how these changing paradigms influence the democratic legitimacy of water governance. It is concluded that the extent to which the new paradigm is implemented influences the way in which democratic legitimacy is organized. It is also shown that new forms of democratic legitimacy do not replace existing ones but rather contribute to hybrid and contextualized forms of legitimacy.