The Nexus Times

Editorial: The 'Governing in the Nexus' issue

Over the last 4 years, the MAGIC team has engaged with policy-makers in the European Commission, European Parliament, national and local governments, establishing a dialogue about the challenges that the nexus poses to governance. Some recurrent questions are: How can we make sure that improvements in one area (say, support for agricultural...

Story-telling gorillas and sustainability discourses

Story-telling gorillas and sustainability discourses of the European primary sector

In January of this year, the European Commission released the European Green Deal. Thereby, the Commission laid down a 10-year roadmap for the “complete decoupling of economic growth from resource use”. Somewhere behind the crowds of neoclassical economists applauding the idea of absolute decoupling stand biophysical economists—many of whom...

Alternative water resources and the illusion of control

The theory of the illusion of control was developed within the psychological sciences during the 70s by Ellen Langer. The illusion of control is defined as an expectancy of a personal success probability that exceeds the objective probability of the outcome (Langer, E., 1975). In other words, it is the tendency of humans to believe they have full...

Nexus governance – not so unique after all?

In theory, governing the water-energy-food nexus is not so different from governing any other issue area characterized by complexity, conflicting interests over scarce resources and questions around their fair distribution. For instance, nexus-type governance is at the heart of any budget decision about the distribution of public funding to line...

The role of metrics in EU governance of the water-energy-food nexus

In a recent publication by the MAGIC project, Völker and colleagues investigate the changes that are emerging in governance with regard to the nexus. Recognizing the interconnections between water, energy and food, means also acknowledging how water policies, energy policies and food policies interact with each other – sometimes by reinforcing...

Opinion: The Awakening from the Cartesian Dream?

The current coronavirus crisis has succeeded where climate change has failed: it has made us aware of the shortcomings of the Cartesian Dream of prediction and control. The idea that our society is able to control events by using science and technology has suddenly lost its credibility. In the Church of the Carmine in Naples the Crucifix of...