A Starting Point: Understanding Governance, Good Governance and Water Governance

Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 54)


Governance has been a widely and deeply discussed concept in the political sciences. As global freshwater resources have become increasingly degraded and impacts of climate change begin to take hold on local hydrological systems, scholars and practitioners have increasingly recognised a crisis of governance. This chapter presents a broad overview of governance theories and discusses the shifts from state centric notions of ‘government’ to a wider range of governance modes and types, as a way of contextualising the shift from a ‘command and control’ paradigm in water governance to more decentralised, integrated and flexible approaches.


Developments in water governance Institutional arrangements Integrated water resources management Scales of governance Physical and human boundaries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group on Climate Change and Climate Impacts Institute for Environmental SciencesUniversity of GenevaCarougeSwitzerland

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