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14.02.2024 - Seminar Lecture Series: Affective hydropolitics: moving beyond rationalist explanations of water conflict and cooperation


14.02.2024 von 14:30 bis 15:30 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)


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Decision-making and negotiations on transboundary waters are often presented as rational, state-led processes. However, many practitioners engaged in water diplomacy and water conflict transformation have observed and experienced that interpersonal, affective factors such as trust, emotion, or personal chemistry matter to the achievement of cooperative solutions. Similarly, while there is frequent mention of people’s different social, spiritual and cultural connections with water, so far little attention has been paid by scientific analysis or policy strategies to if, and how, these factors impact water politics in the transboundary realm.

This seminar will introduce the concept of ‘affective hydropolitics’ to capture the role that emotions, spirituality, identity, trust or personal bonds play in how we govern international waters. A deeper look at the Aral Basin will show how such an approach enables a broader understanding of complex water relations that extend beyond state-centric models. Rather, regionally derived concepts that include a substantive affective dimension related to the (imagined) kinship ties of mutual respect and solidarity that exist among the peoples of Central Asia can explain the persistence of (informal) cooperation even in times of political tensions.

Speaker: Dr. Jenniver Sehring, Associate Professor of Water Governance and Diplomacy, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Date: 14.02.2024 14:30-15:30 hr CET - virtual


About the SDGnexus Network Seminar Series

The SDGnexus Network Seminar Series cover topics related to research and teaching along the Sustainable Development Goals. Seminar Series are created for everybody interested in the SDG topic, the network offers a fantastic opportunity to union knowledge and experience from researchers across a variety of disciplines and regions.