Perspectives on Water Diplomacy: Key Findings, Remaining Challenges, and Future Directions

TitlePerspectives on Water Diplomacy: Key Findings, Remaining Challenges, and Future Directions
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSusskind, L, Choudhury, E, Koch, G
EditorIslam, S, Smith, KM
Book TitleInterdisciplinary Collaboration for Water Diplomacy: A Principled and Pragmatic Approach
PublisherCRC Press

This book introduces the concept of Water Diplomacy as a principled and pragmatic approach to problem-driven interdisciplinary collaboration, which has been developed as a response to pressing contemporary water challenges arising from the coupling of natural and human systems.

The findings of the book are the result of a decade-long interdisciplinary experiment in conceiving, developing, and implementing an interdisciplinary graduate program on Water Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA. This has led to the development of the Water Diplomacy Framework, a shared framework for understanding, diagnosing, and communicating about complex water issues across disciplinary boundaries. This framework clarifies important distinctions between water systems - simple, complicated, or complex - and the attributes that these distinctions imply for how these problems can be addressed. In this book, the focus is on complex water issues and how they require a problem-driven rather than a theory-driven approach to interdisciplinary collaboration. Moreover, it is argued that conception of interdisciplinarity needs to go beyond collaboration among experts, because complex water problems demand inclusive stakeholder engagement, such as in fact-value deliberation, joint fact finding, collective decision making, and adaptive management. Water professionals working in such environments need to operate with both principles and pragmatism in order to achieve actionable, sustainable, and equitable outcomes. This book explores these ideas in more detail and demonstrates their efficacy through a diverse range of case studies. Reflections on the program are also included, from conceptualization through implementation and evaluation.

This book offers critical lessons and case studies for researchers and practitioners working on complex water issues as well as important lessons for those looking to initiate, implement, or evaluate interdisciplinary programs to address other complex problems in any setting.