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The evolution of regional cross-border water regimes, the case of Deltarhine

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In this study, we look at the evolution of a cooperative water regime in the delta of the Rhine catchment. In a Dutch–German case study, we focus on cross-border cooperation on the local and regional scale, describing and analyzing how a remarkably resilient and robust transboundary water regime has evolved over the course of 50¬†years. Context-, interest- and knowledge-based explanations contribute important insights into the evolution of the Deltarhine regime, and it is shown that the legal, institutional and socio-economic context shapes and constrains regional cross-border cooperation. Surprisingly in this regard, we find that European water directives have not yet played a decisive, catalyzing role for policy harmonization across borders. Finally, we show that key individuals play a crucial role in regime formation and development. We suggest that the presence of entrepreneurs and leaders adds explanatory power to current conceptual frameworks in international river basin management, thus meriting further research.
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Keywords: cross-border cooperation; regime change; transboundary river basins; water policy implementation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Radboud University, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2: Radboud University, Institute for Management Research, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 3: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

Publication date: August 24, 2018

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