Water Governance

Research at USER on water governance aims to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health in the Mekong Region. We have supported and are intrigued by the possibilities of inclusive and deliberative processes to improve decision-making. We also contribute to efforts to build capacity for institutional, political and policy analysis of water governance issues.


Our more theoretical work hopes to change the way people think about states, authority and governance. In particular, we have been looking closely at issues of scale, space and expertise in assessment, deliberation and decision-making or, in short, the politics of knowledge. We are also interested in the politics of vulnerability and resilience around “risk management” and what its implications are for the pursuit of social justice, for instance, as part of adaptation to climate change or building resilience to climate change.


Selected Publications

  • Policy Narratives Help Maintain Institutional Traps in the Governance of Floods in Thailand (Abstract)
  • Nexus Narratives and Resource Insecurities in the Mekong Region (Abstract)
  • Disaster Governance and the Scalar Politics of Incomplete Decentralization: Fragmented and Contested Responses to the 2011 Floods in Central Thailand (Abstract)
  • Benefit Sharing From Hydropower Watersheds: Rationales, Practices, and Potential (Abstract)
  • Institutional Fit and River Basin Governance: A New Approach Using Multiple Composite Measures (Abstract)
  • Benefit Sharing From Kamchay and Lower Sesan 2 Hydropower Watersheds in Cambodia (Abstract)
  • A Framework for Analysing Transboundary Water Governance Complexes, Illustrated in the Mekong Region (Abstract)
  • Institutional Design Propositions for the Governance of Adaptation to Climate Change in the Water Sector (Abstract)
  • From Applying Panaceas to Mastering Complexity: Towards Adaptive Water Governance in Basins (Abstract)
  • Gaining Public Acceptance: A Critical Strategic Priority of the World Commission on Dams (Abstract)
  • Deliberation, Negotiation and Scale in the Governance of Water Resources in the Mekong Region (Abstract)
  • Access and Allocation in Earth System Governance: Water and Climate Change Compared (Abstract)
  • Risk Reduction or Redistribution? Flood Management in the Mekong Region (Abstract)