This paper presents results from an empirical analysis of the implementability of nutrient reduction targets in one riparian state, namely Denmark, focusing on the government’s Green Growth Strategy. It charts the policy adaptation route to explore how stakeholders mobilise claims within different sense-making perspectives on governance in order to seek to keep each other accountable. Based on the findings, an analytical framework is derived which helps identify where professionals in agro-environmental governance may more explicitly address the subtle ways in which accountability is created and undermined through different modes of justification in spaces of ambiguity between competing governance traditions.

In relation to the wider accountability literature, it is demonstrated how it is possible to apply theory and methods from the most recent multi-stakeholder school in natural resource governance research to broaden the work within social and environmental accounting to focus more explicitly on the totality of stakeholder interactions rather than single organisations.

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