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The river-border complex: a border-integrated approach to transboundary river governance illustrated by the Ganges River and Indo-Bangladeshi border


  • Kimberley Anh Thomas


International rivers are conventionally understood as watercourses that cross national boundaries, while borders themselves are taken to be static and given – passive features over and across which riparian processes unfold. Employing such straightforward framings of international rivers and borders, academic studies and policy analyses of transboundary water governance perpetuate problematic ideas about the relevant scales and actors involved in international river conflicts and crises. Through a historical examination of the Ganges River and the Indo-Bangladeshi border, I introduce the ‘river-border complex’ as a new framework for reconceptualizing international rivers and borders as synergistic, co-constitutive and interdependent.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimberley Anh Thomas, 2017. "The river-border complex: a border-integrated approach to transboundary river governance illustrated by the Ganges River and Indo-Bangladeshi border," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 34-53, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rwinxx:v:42:y:2017:i:1:p:34-53
    DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2016.1247236

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