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Aleh Cherp

Aleh Cherp

Professor, Coordinator of the MESPOM Consortium

Aleh Cherp

The hegemony of integrated water resources management as a global water discourse


  • Farhad Mukhtarov
  • Aleh Cherp

Summary, in English

The early form of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) emerged in the USA in the 1900s in order to manage interactions between water, land, eco- and social systems. By the end of the last century, IWRM has become a globally prominent policy concept. We concern ourselves with three questions, namely, a) “why did IWRM become a globally popular concept”?; b) “how did IWRM become a globally popular concept”?; and c) “what are the effects of IWRM being a globally popular concept”? We argue that this popularity can be explained in term of a neo-Gramscian concept of hegemony and the three-dimensional model of power. The hegemony of IWRM relies on: a) providing material incentives to engage with IWRM; b) directing normative persuasion in order to create and diffuse the norms; and c) building up organizational hierarchies to support IWRM planning. Using water management in Kazakhstan as a case study, we demonstrate some of the risks associated with an uncritical embrace of IWRM which may stem from its global hegemony.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







River Basin Management in the Twenty-First Century : Understanding People and Place

Document type

Book chapter


CRC Press


  • Environmental Management


  • Fragmentation
  • Global water initiatives
  • Holistic management
  • IWRM
  • Kazakhstan
  • Neo-gramscian
  • Neoliberalism
  • Technocratic elites
  • Transnational actors
  • USA




  • ISBN: 9781466579620
  • ISBN: 9781466579637