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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

In any region of the world, in any country, each beginning of the year offers us a scenario for potential changes, purposes, goals and hopes, and 2019 does not have to be the exception. Despite various forecasts of slower global economic growth in the coming year (World Bank, Forbes, Reuters), and despite the latest reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on stressful atmospheric conditions, among other environmental discomforts around the planet, we cannot limit our human capacity to see the future with courage and optimism.

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Edith Kauffer and Carmen Maganda

English abstract: This note presents an account of transboundary basins on a global and regional scale throughout history. The authors introduce the special section on transboundary basins, presenting their constant increase and profound complexity. Regions & Cohesion has shown a permanent interest in this subject, from its first publications and, in particular, with the 2014 special issue that addressed different theoretical, methodological, and case studies in different continents. The three readings that make up this section address contemporary water border contexts and Mexico–U.S. policy where multi- and transdisciplinary challenges continue.

Spanish abstract: Esta nota presenta un recuento de las cuencas transfronterizas a escala global y regional a través de la historia. Las autoras introducen la sección especial de cuencas transfronterizas exponiendo su constante aumento y su profunda complejidad. La revista Regiones & Cohesión ha demostrado un interés permanente por este tema, desde sus primeras publicaciones y en particular con el número especial de 2014 que abordó distintas problemáticas teóricas, metodológicas y estudios de caso de cuencas transfronterizas en diferentes continentes. Las tres lecturas que componen esta sección abordan contextos contemporáneos de la frontera hídrica y política México-Estados Unidos donde el reto multi- y transdisciplinario continúa vigente.

French abstract: Cette présentation aborde les bassins versants transfrontaliers à l’échelle globale et régionale à travers l’histoire. Les auteures introduisent la section spéciale sur les bassins transfrontaliers en signalant leur constante augmentation et leur profonde complexité. La revue Regions & Cohesion a démontré un intérêt permanent pour ce thème depuis ses premières parutions en particulier avec la publication du numéro spécial de 2014 qui a evoqué diverses problématiques théoriques, méthodologiques et des études de cas dans différents continents. Les trois lectures qui composent cette section spéciale se centrent sur les contextes contemporains de la frontière hydrique et politique entre le Mexique et les États-Unis où le défímultidisciplinaire et pluridisciplinaire est toujours d’actualité.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

June 5 is World Environment Day, also known as Eco-day. It is an environmental awareness day run by the United Nations (UN). Of course, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, also run by the UN, now dominates our discussions of sustainability in global affairs. However, localized visions of sustainable development continue to thrive. These development models are based on local movements that include a variety of actors with concrete grievances and focused visions for the futures of their communities. These movements and visions are relevant for World Environment Day because they reflect the spirit of this initiative through grassroots activities.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Two important themes highlighted by Regions & Cohesion have been migration and governance. The first of these themes remains timely in 2019. Human flows are a constant in the globalized world. According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.” Moreover, “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” However, migration policies today seem to follow a diff erent path from the human rights perspective. The political discourse of leaders of various developed states mostly advocate nationalist claims against free immigration based on economic, cultural, or security logics that favor protectionism.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Since the end of the Cold War in 1990, “regions” and “governance” have become prominent themes in the social sciences and they have often accompanied each other in both political and academic circles. During this historical period, regions have developed in many ways, including the proliferation and deepening of regional integration schemes, including among others, the enlargement of the European Union (EU), the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the passage of the Organization of African Unity to the African Union, and the transformation of the Andean Pact into the Andean Community. While world regions were being established at the supranational level, sub-national regions also began to take form. The 1990s witnessed the development of regional economies, regional identities, regionalist ideologies, political parties, and social movements. In many cases, these transformations could not be contained by national boundaries. The notion of “borders” has recently been replaced by “border regions” as these areas have become accepted as socially constructed territories that transcend political and geographic delineations.

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A Vulnerable World?

“Honor a quien honor merece“

Carmen Maganda and Harlan Koff

Regions and Cohesion has grown from invaluable human and intellectual roots. One source of inspiration, Dr. Virginia García-Acosta, comes from CIESAS-Mexico (Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social). Dr. García-Acosta is an internationally recognized scholar who has achieved much through her professional career and touched many through her wisdom and humanity. In recognition of her achievements, she was honored with the title Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques by France in a ceremony on 16 November 2010 at the Residencia de Francia in Mexico City. The editors of Regions and Cohesion, on behalf of the RISC Consortium, are pleased to recognize this honor by translating into French and publishing in this issue of the journal one of Dr. García-Acosta’s most important articles, entitled: “Le risque comme construction sociale et la construction sociale des risques” (originally published in Mexico as “El riesgo como construcción social y la construcción social de riesgos” in Desacatos No. 19 (2005): p. 11–24).

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Environmental and natural resources governance

Rethinking public-private relationships

Carmen Maganda and Olivier Petit

Talking about environmental and natural resources (ENR) governance today is generally related to the search for holistic elements to achieve sustainability. Political ecology clearly points out and debates the need to see ENR, particularly those related to vital necessities, as global public goods. It sounds like an easy equation: How can we achieve sustainability without sharing access, costs, benefits, and of course governance of ENR needed for all human activities? However, as logical as it seems, development inequalities and unregulated market relationships on the management of these resources are still predominant. Therefore, environmental governance and sustainability is still one of the major contemporary global challenges.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Regional integration has significantly impacted sustainable development processes at the sub-national, supranational and interregional levels. Regions & Cohesion here has highlighted the complexity of interactions between policy arenas and actors/stakeholders at different levels of governance. Past articles have examined how regions can build bridges between policy arenas and levels of governance in different world regions with the objective of promoting sustainability.

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Carmen Maganda and Harlan Koff

Regions & Cohesion aims to foster dialogue on the human and environmental impacts of regional integration processes. The mission of the journal is purposely defined broadly so as to create as wide an inter-regional dialogue as possible on issues affecting communities throughout the world. As the introduction to the first issue of volume one clearly stated, our goal is move people rather than territories to the center of debates on regional integration.

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Carmen Maganda and Harlan Koff

In the editorial note of the first issue of Regions & Cohesion, we directly asked ourselves and our readers: What role do people play in regional integration processes? Regions have, indeed, developed in different ways and for different reasons. One of the main questions behind the mission of this journal asks: Are territories serving their citizens, or do citizens serve the needs of expanding territories and interconnected markets?