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Process-focused analysis in transboundary water governance research


  • Diana Suhardiman


  • Mark Giordano


Previous analysis of transboundary water governance has been focused primarily on state-centred approaches. The articles in this special section move us forward from this focus in three ways. First, they highlight the crucial role played by non-state actors in shaping water governance outcomes. Second, they show us how these actors can increase the ‘room for manoeuvre’ in negotiations. Third, they provide an entry point for developing process-focused approaches in transboundary water governance research. This article argues such an approach might improve our understanding of transboundary water outcomes and suggests new focus on how key actors form networks of alliances and shape decision-making landscapes at multiple governance levels and arenas. From a scholarly perspective, it brings to light the blurred boundary between state and non-state actors, as derived from a better understanding of the elusive links between actors and organisations; it unravels additional layers of complexity in the hydro-hegemony concept and bends the rigid notion of power asymmetry, towards the subtleties of power relations and interplays in transboundary decision-making processes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Diana Suhardiman & Mark Giordano, 2012. "Process-focused analysis in transboundary water governance research," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:12:y:2012:i:3:p:299-308
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-012-9176-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bhaduri Anik & Barbier Edward B, 2008. "Political Altruism of Transboundary Water Sharing," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, August.
    2. Molle, François & Wester, Philippus & Hirsch, Philip, 2010. "River basin closure: Processes, implications and responses," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(4), pages 569-577, April.
    3. Carel Dieperink, 2011. "International water negotiations under asymmetry, Lessons from the Rhine chlorides dispute settlement (1931–2004)," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 139-157, May.
    4. Coleen Fox & Chris Sneddon, 2007. "Transboundary river basin agreements in the Mekong and Zambezi basins: Enhancing environmental security or securitizing the environment?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 237-261, September.
    5. Mark Zeitoun & Naho Mirumachi, 2008. "Transboundary water interaction I: reconsidering conflict and cooperation," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-316, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Neda Zawahri & Oliver Hensengerth, 2012. "Domestic environmental activists and the governance of the Ganges and Mekong Rivers in India and China," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 269-298, September.
    2. Xiaoyun Sui & Yongxia Chen & Zhi Lu & Yifeng Chen, 2015. "A bibliometric analysis of research papers related to the Mekong River," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(1), pages 419-434, October.

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