Branding in policy translation: How the Dutch Delta approach became an international brand

Ellen Minkman*, Arwin van Buuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article explains the rise of the Dutch Delta Approach (DDA) as the Dutch trade-mark for exporting knowledge about adaptive delta management. We consider policy branding a specific tool for policy translation that can enhance our understanding of how policy is mobilised for international application. Using the concepts of policy translation and branding, we analyse and explain the translation of the original Dutch policy regarding delta management and its mobilisation for an international audience. We reconstruct how the DDA became the basis for an international policy brand and conclude that a strong brand was created because of a strong national network of stakeholders, sufficient resources, and the confluence of various developments that contributed to the perceived importance of developing such a brand. However, contrary to what the branding literature suggests, international application is ad hoc rather than the result of a keen strategy. The way the DDA is applied shows many pragmatic strategies in which the brand is used as discursive camouflage or to legitimate cherry picking and opportunistic reframing. As a result, durable impact of the DDA brand is vulnerable due to weak brand maintenance. Our findings demonstrate the relevance of branding for studying policy transfer process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive Delta Management
  • Dutch Delta Approach
  • Policy branding
  • Policy transfer
  • Policy translation


Dive into the research topics of 'Branding in policy translation: How the Dutch Delta approach became an international brand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this