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Ss18 Actors: Why Power Matters And How We Understand It In Water Governance

Author(s): SS18 Questioning water governance: From concepts to practice􀍟
World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
Special session 18: Scene-setting
Author(s): Robert G. Varady
Robert G. Varady
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
The University of Arizona




  • Why consider power as a factor in water governance?
    • Whenever something of value is at stake, there are contending interests
    • These interests push and pull to steer policy & management procedures, and especially outcomes they would prefer
    • The question is, how can these interests exert their influence?
    • The answer: By exercising such forms of power as they may wield (e.g., money, votes, patronage, jobs, mass mobilization, moral suasion)
    • In the case of water, the more it’s in short supply or when its use threatens interests, the greater the likelihood of the use of power
  • How do actors figure in the exertion of power?
  • The actors
  • The International Water Security Network
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