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River Basin Management in the Twenty-first Century

  • Farhad Mukhtarov
  • Aleh Cherp
  • Victor Squires
  • Hugh M. Milner
  • Katherine Daniell
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 3-22
Publication/Series: River Basin Management in the Twenty-first Century
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract 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.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • water


  • ISBN: 978-1-4665-0000-0
Aleh Cherp
E-mail: aleh [dot] cherp [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

Telephone: + 46 46 222 00 00 Fax: + 46 46 222 02 10