Intermediaries and the governance of sociotechnical networks in transition
The author makes the case for studying intermediary organisations as a window on the shifting governance of water and energy services in Europe today. He explores the notion of intermediaries and intermediation in a wide range of literatures and demonstrates how the governance concept can provide focus to the term, indicating how intermediaries can influence the pursuit of collective goals under shifting governance structures and processes. Against this conceptual backdrop, the author sets out the key governance challenges emerging from the ongoing transformation of sociotechnical systems (addressing water and energy services) in terms of changing relations between the state and the utility, between service provider and user, between infrastructure and urban systems, and between infrastructure and the environment. Empirical illustration of the emergence of intermediaries in the water sector across Europe, the relational nature of their work, the interests they pursue, and the impacts they are having is provided.
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