Water, politics and river basin governance: repoliticizing approaches to river basin management
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Molle, Francois. 2009. Water, politics and river basin governance: repoliticizing approaches to river basin management. Water International, 34(1):62-70. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02508060802677846
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/40641
Water management is commonly assumed to be a mere technical matter where experts and managers endeavour to match supply and demand by using technology, through rational problem-solving and by engaging stakeholders. This article, in contrast, emphasizes that river basin development and management is about the shifting patterns of access to a contested and scarce resource and is inherently a political process. An investigation of the physical and social characteristics and constraints of river basins must be conducted in parallel with an analysis of the convergent interests manifest in capital intensive water investments, and an attention to how discursive power is used in the justification of large-scale investments. Thus, repoliticizing river basin management offers a different and complementary perspective that allows a better understanding of society/environment relationships.