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Jeroen Warner

The article sketches the history of the Flood Action Plan 20 (FAP-20), an experiment with polder compartmentalization, seeking to integrate flood management, drainage, and irrigation, and make it more democratic in response to the destructive 1987 and 1988 floods in Bangladesh. As a transferred technology the project took too little cognizance of local physical, social, institutional, and economic context and practices to be able to work successfully. The project did bring previously unavailable amenities to the region that served as a shelter area in the floods of 1998.

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Anna Wesselink and Jeroen Warner

The aim of this special volume is to critically examine the various ways in which floods and flood management are framed in current policies, especially the “space for rivers” policies that have been adopted in many countries of Western Europe. The articles in this volume discuss different aspects of this framing, while employing different theoretical frames. Of these, Spiral Dynamics stands out as the most intriguing and least known. The papers thereby potentially contribute to reframing policy contents and/or procedures: either because they show alternative policy contents and/or because they show different ways of looking at policy making. This introductory article provides an overview of what framing means in a policy-making context, thereby highlighting the politics of engaging in (re)framing.

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Richard Meissner and Jeroen Warner


What role can non-diplomats play in managing and altering power relations in transboundary river basins? We answer this by investigating the lobbying efforts of indigenous peoples to stop the construction of the planned Orokawe (Baynes) dam on the Kunene River. The Kunene River forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia with several concluded treaties in place. These treaties set the context of bilateral state diplomacy concerning the allocation and management of a transboundary water resource. The theoretical foundation of our investigation are ideational power conceptualizations and practice theory. We discuss the employment of ideational power in transboundary rivers with numerous practices, such as lobbying and transnational network development. This article argues that actors consciously practice power during transboundary water diplomacy.


¿Qué papel desempeñan los no-diplomáticos en la gestión y modificación de las relaciones de poder en las cuencas fluviales transfronterizas? Respondemos investigando los esfuerzos de cabildeo de los pueblos indígenas para detener la construcción de la presa Orokawe (Baynes) en el río Kunene, entre Angola y Namibia. La asignación y gestión de este recurso hídrico transfronterizo, cuenta con varios tratados concluidos que establecen el contexto de la diplomacia estatal bilateral. La base teórica de esta investigación son las conceptualizaciones del poder ideacional y la “teoría de la práctica”. El empleo del poder ideacional en ríos transfronterizos se refleja en prácticas como el cabildeo y el desarrollo de redes transnacionales. Este artículo sostiene que los actores practican conscientemente este poder durante la diplomacia del agua transfronteriza.


Quel rôle les non-diplomates peuvent-ils jouer dans la gestion et la modification des relations de pouvoir dans les bassins fluviaux transfrontaliers? Nous répondons à cette question en enquêtant sur les efforts de lobbying des peuples autochtones pour arrêter la construction du projet du barrage d'Orokawe (Baynes) sur le fleuve Kunene. Le Kunene forme une partie de la frontière entre l'Angola et la Namibie, pays entre lesquels plusieurs traités sont en vigueur. Ces traités définissent le contexte de la diplomatie bilatérale des États concernant le partage et la gestion de la ressource en eau transfrontalière. Les fondements théoriques de notre enquête reposent sur les conceptualisations du pouvoir idéationnel et la théorie de la pratique. L'article aborde les nombreuses pratiques du pouvoir idéationnel dans les cours d'eau transfrontaliers, telles que le lobbying et le développement de réseaux transnationaux. Il soutient que les acteurs exercent consciemment le pouvoir dans le cadre de la diplomatie transfrontalière de l'eau.