'Governing water: Struggle to manage scarce natural resource' topic of DC webcast

Water can be a source of political struggles and social controversy around the world, from big dams to small wells, from privatizing water delivery to delivering bottled water. In his new MIT Press book Governing Water: Contentious Transnational Politics and Global Institution Building, Ken Conca of the University of Maryland examines political struggles to govern water. Conca was the chief presenter at the June 15 webcast hosted by Washington DC's Wilson Center...

Jun 16th, 2006

Event includes live webcast at www.wilsoncenter.org.

WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2006 -- Water can be a source of political struggles and social controversy around the world, from big dams to small wells, from privatizing water delivery to delivering bottled water. In his new MIT Press book Governing Water: Contentious Transnational Politics and Global Institution Building, Ken Conca of the University of Maryland examines political struggles to govern water.

Conca -- associate professor of government and politics, University of Maryland, and director of its Harrison Program on the Future Global Agenda -- was the chief presenter at a webcast June 15 hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Threats to the world's rivers, watersheds, and critical freshwater ecosystems have resisted the establishment of effective global agreements, he notes. But while interstate water diplomacy has faltered, less formal institutions have emerged to take up the slack.

Conca examines the politics of these institutions, identifying four distinct processes building the institutions that govern water: formal international regimes for shared rivers; international networks among water experts and professionals; social movements protesting the construction of large dams; and water "markets." He highlights the potential for alternative institutional forms in situations where traditional interstate regimes are ineffective.

Conca was joined by discussant Ashok Swain, professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University for the presentation. (For more information on the event, click here.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (www.wilsoncenter.org) is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and with headquarters in Washington, DC. It's a non-partisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open and informed dialogue.

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