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Actor and Strategy Models

ISBN: 978-1-119-28470-3
416 pages
January 2018
Actor and Strategy Models (1119284708) cover image


A plan, policy or business strategy can only be successful if it is has the support of different actors. A good plan does not only offer an optimal solution to a given 'technical' problem, but also fits with the needs and abilities of key actors involved. Furthermore, these actors are not always passive recipients, but may also actively pursue their own agendas. A strategy for dealing with actors is thus a necessary part of a plan or policy. For this, a good understanding of the various actors involved in planning and in plan implementation is a prerequisite.

This book offers a primer on models that shed light on the multi-actor dimensions in planning. Based on the fundamental notions that actor strategies are explained by investigating what actors want to achieve, can do, and think, several different analytical approaches are covered. Each method is positioned within the scientific literature, its theoretic underpinnings are introduced, and practical applications are discussed and illustrated with elaborate case examples. As a primer on actor analysis methods, this book offers guidance and inspiration to anyone who would like to gain a better understanding of the actor environment in which they find themselves.

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Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Textboxes


Chapter 1: The need for actor and strategy models         

1.1 Actors and decision making 

1.2 Applications of actor and strategy models    

1.3 Scope and structure of this book      


Chapter 2: A framework for actor and strategy modelling            

2.1 What are strategic actors?   

2.2 Conceptual framework for strategic actor interactions            

2.3 Overview of actor and strategy models         

2.4 Step-wise approach for actor and strategy modelling              

2.5 Challenges in modelling strategic actor interactions

2.6 Summary and further reading



Chapter 3: Scanning your actor network as part of problem diagnosis

3.1 Diagnosis for strategic interaction problems

3.2 Stakeholder analysis and actor network scanning      

3.3 Step-wise approach for actor network scanning        

3.4 Case application: Offshore wind energy        

3.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 4: Identifying, structuring and measuring values: Value-focused thinking          

4.1 Values as fundamental drivers of actor processes

4.2 Value-focused thinking for multi-actor issues

4.3 Step-wise approach for value-focused thinking for multiple actors

4.4 Case application: Rural livelihoods in Tanzania

4.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 5: Making a move: Analysis of options and conflict graphs         

5.1 Strategic use of resources to shape environments

5.2 Analysis of options

5.3 Step-wise approach for analysis of options

5.4 Case application: Volunteered geographical information

5.5 Case application: Solar power

5.6 Summary and further reading


Chapter 6: Appraising the strategic value of information: Extensive games        

6.1 The role of resources and information in strategic games

6.2 Game theory and social dilemmas

6.3 Step-wise approach for extensive games     

6.4 Case application: Supply chain management

6.5 Summary and further reading


Chapter 7: Looking for coalitions: Cooperative game theory      

7.1 Group capability and cooperation

7.2 Cooperative game theory

7.3 Step-wise approach for analyzing cooperative potential        

7.4 Case application: Renewable energy

7.5 Summary and further reading


Appendix: R Code to Support Cooperative Analyses       

Chapter 8: Identifying opportunities for exchange: Transactional analysis          

8.1 Multi-actor decision making as an exchange of control over resources            

8.2 Transactional analysis

8.3 Step-wise approach for transactional analysis

8.4 Case application: Rural water management in the Netherlands          

8.5 Summary and further reading


Appendix A: Calculation of dependencies

Appendix B: Calculation of equilibrium control


Chapter 9: Capturing problem perceptions: Comparative cognitive mapping

9.1 How perceptions can help explain (in)activity in multi-actor settings

9.2 Comparative cognitive mapping        

9.3 Step-wise approach for comparative cognitive mapping

9.4 Case Application: Pollution control for urban public spaces

9.5 Summary and further reading


Chapter 10: Reconstructing debate: Argumentative analysis

10.1 Debates fuelled by competing claims

10.2 Argumentative analysis

10.3 Step-wise approach for argumentative analysis

10.4 Case application: Watershed protection in the Philippines

10.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 11: Scrutinizing relations that shape actions: Social network analysis

11.1 The importance of relations between actors             

11.2 Social network analysis       

11.3 Step-wise approach for social network analysis       

11.4 Case application: Innovation network for Internet video services

11.5 Summary and further reading



Chapter 12: Actor models: Comparison and reflection

12.1 When to use what model?

12.2 Illustrative comparison of the use of models for a single case

12.3 Revisiting the challenges involved in analyzing actors and strategies

12.4 Next steps in the future of actor and strategy models          



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