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Introduction to the Themed Section: Water governance and the politics of scale

Emma S. Norman
Native Environmental Science Program, Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA, USA;
Karen Bakker
Department of Geography and Program on Water Governance, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada;
Christina Cook
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada;

ABSTRACT: This introductory article of the themed section introduces a series of papers that engage with water governance and the politics of scale. The paper situates the ongoing 'politics of scale' debates, and links them to discussions germane to water governance. We call for closer attention to the inter-relationships between power and social networks in studies of water governance, with particular reference to both institutional dynamics and scalar constructions. Framed in this way, we suggest that the engagement at the intersection of politics of scale and water governance moves the concept of scale beyond the 'fixity' of territory. The paper reflects on the ways in which the recognition of scale as socially constructed and contingent on political struggle might inform analyses of water governance and advance our understanding of hydrosocial networks.