Deliberation, negotiation and scale in the governance of water resources in the Mekong region

  • Louis Lebel
  • Po Garden


Deliberating, negotiating, designing, and implementing water management policies are often disconnected activities. Different actors come together in separate arenas at different times, places and levels to gain support for their policies, programs and projects. Scale represents a class of key choices, commitments and constraints that actors contest or are forced to accept. In the Mekong region water governance is multi-level and multiscale with issues and actors that surge and ebb as they move from deliberation, negotiation and allocation of water and related services and back out again. The attributes and outcomes of multi-level governance — like fairness, equity and sustainability — depends not only on the interplay of institutions, but also the fortuitous and staged cross-level interactions among less rigid and formalized social networks and deliberative platforms. While attributing impacts to deliberative engagement is not a straight-forward exercise, our hypothesis remains that cross-level interactions in deliberations initially produce and later help influence negotiations and the robustness of structure of rules, agreements, policies and institutions.


Integrate Water Resource Management Water Governance Asian Development Mekong River Commission Great Mekong Subregion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Lebel
    • 1
  • Po Garden
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit for Social and Environmental ResearchChiang Mai UniversityThailand

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