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Limits and Borders: Stages of Transboundary Water Management

Mark Wiering, Joris Verwijmeren


The abundant literature on transboundary water management often treats cross-border initiatives as being interchangeable although they take place in very different regions and in different stages of the cooperation process. On the basis of a comparison of five case in different corners of Europe, a stages-approach to cross-border river management is proposed. This model considers enabling or constraining conditions for continuous cross-border cooperation to be both context- and stage-specific. The model leads us to assert the claim that transboundary governance becomes more complex going from problem diagnosis to actual implementation of joint measures. Transboundary governance requires increasing integration of the institutional arrangements of the cross-border regions involved, until at some point a level of resistance emerges that erodes willingness to collaborate further. Before that happens, however, one can learn from specific conditions that become evident in the context and stages.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229