Speakers NEWAVE e-Lecture Series: Water Governance Theoretical Perspectives

Jampel Dell’Angelo
Prof. Jampel Dell’Angelo
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Jampel Dell’Angelo is Assistant Professor of Water Governance in the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is an environmental social scientist interested in the political economy of natural resources, in particular water. 

His research is on the multilevel dimensions of cooperation and conflict over freshwater resources. The focus of his research spans from socio-environmental dynamics of climate change adaption in community irrigation schemes of rural Kenya to global patterns of virtual water appropriation associated with transnational land investments. He employs mixed methods and builds on theoretical pluralism combining perspectives from the Bloomington School of Political Economy and the Barcelona School of Political Ecology. Believing in the necessity to conduct true interdisciplinary research to tackle complex water governance problems he draws on a socio-environmental synthesis approach.

Dell’Angelo is a Visiting Scholar and Member of the Ecohydrology Lab in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at University of California, Berkeley and an Environmental Governance Affiliate Scholar at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Maryland. 

Jens Newig
Prof. Jens Newig
Leuphana Universitat Luneburg

Dr Jens Newig is full Professor of Governance and Sustainability at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. He is member of the Faculty of Sustainability and of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and director of Leuphana’s Institute for Sustainability Governance (INSUGO). A geo-ecologist by training with a doctoral degree in Law and an Habilitation in political science and systems science, Jens is now engaging in inter- and transdisdisciplinary governance research. Building on research projects funded inter alia by the European Research Council or the German Research Foundation, Jens and his team have published widely on issues of water governance, participatory, collaborative and globalized environmental and sustainability governance, aspiring produce but also to cumulate evidence in the field.

Margreet Zwarteveen
Prof. Margreet Zwarteveen
visor at Universiteit van Amsterdam, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Margreet Zwarteveen is Professor of Water Governance at IHE-Delft and the University of Amsterdam. Trained as both an irrigation engineer and a social scientist, Margreet is interested in water allocation policies, technologies and practices, and the knowledges that justify or inform these. She focuses her research and education on questions of (gender-) equity and justice. Her current research includes a project (financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO), that looks at the mobility of Dutch Delta experts and expertise to examine the production of evidence under conditions of uncertainty. She is also the coordinator of a large international research network (funded by the Belmont-Norface Programme on Transformations to Sustainability) to study and learn from bottom-up initiatives to protect or share groundwater. In her work, Margreet favors an interdisciplinary approach, seeing water flows and distributions as the outcome of interactions between natures, technologies and people.

Jeroen Vos
Prof. Jeroen Vos
Wageningen University and Research

Jeroen Vos is Associate Professor in the department of Water Resources Management at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. As a water policy advisor he worked for a decade in Peru and Bolivia with different international development organizations. He was editor of two Spanish language books on water governance in Latin America and co-edited the Water Justice book published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. His current research interests are the dynamics and discourses of water use by agribusinesses in Latin America. He has published on the effects of virtual water trade and private water stewardship certification.

Dustin Garrick
Prof. Dustin Garrick
University of Oxford
Dr Dustin E. Garrick is an associate professor of global water policy at the University of Waterloo based in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and the Water Institute. He is also a research fellow at Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, where he has been teaching since 2011. Dr Garrick has expertise in water and environmental governance with a focus on property rights, institutions and markets. He has twenty years of experience in environmental management with a focus on markets and governance innovations to address resource scarcity and sustainability challenges. In this work, he is interested in the evolution of conflict and cooperation over water and other shared natural resources in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss and rapid urbanisation. His approach is multi-disciplinary, spanning public policy, geography and institutional economics, and anchored in field-based and comparative research across a network of observatories which track long-term changes in natural resource conflicts and institutional responses. This work seeks to advance collective action theory and contribute to our understanding of common pool resource governance. His current research examines the impact of urbanisation on water conflict and cooperation with an emphasis on competition between cities and agriculture for water. He is also examining the evolution and impact of market-based approaches to govern the commons, with a particular interest in the role of informal water markets and their political economy. He has extensive expertise at the interface of science, policy and enterprise, serving as an invited speaker at leading universities and expert advisor for the World Bank, OECD, corporations, governments and non-profits. In 2018, the American Association for the Advancement of Science selected Dr. Garrick as a Leshner Fellow of Public Engagement. He also co-founded a global initiative on water markets with the World Bank Water Practice and has served on many international committees, including the Global Water Partnership/OECD task force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth, the Valuing Water Initiative for the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water and the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership. He has been a Fulbright Scholar (2010-11) in Australia and was the 2018 recipient of the Sustainable Water Management Prize from the Botin Foundation in Spain.
Jeroen Warner
Prof. Jeroen Warner
Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)
Dr. Jeroen Warner is Associate Professor of Crisis and Disaster Studies, Sociology of Development and Change Group at Wageningen University. He took his MSc in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam and his PhD in Disaster Studies from Wageningen University. Dr. Warner teaches, trains and publishes on domestic and transboundary water conflict and cooperation, participatory resource management, and governance issues. His main research interests ub the disaster studies domain are disaster construction, disaster politics, social resilience and culture, especially in cities. He has long experience of working in Bangladesh and Brazil.
Jan Selby
Prof. Jan Selby
University of Sheffield
Jan Selby joined the University of Sheffield in June 2020 as Professor of Politics and International Relations. After completing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Lancaster (2002), Jan's first post was as a lecturer in Lancaster's Department of Politics and IR. After a short stint at Aberystwyth, he then moved to the Department of IR, University of Sussex, where he worked for 15 years (2005-20). He held several leadership positions at Sussex, including Head of Department (2007-09), Director of Research (2011-20), and Director of the cross-disciplinary Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (2012-18). Professor Selby’s research and teaching focus on climate change, water and energy politics, though he also works periodically on themes in IR theory, and conflict, peacebuilding and development.
Erick Swyngedouw
Prof. Erick Swyngedouw
University of Manchester
Prof. Erik Swyngedouw is professor of geography at the University of Manchester in the School of Environment, Education and Development and a member of the Manchester Urban Institute. Prof. Swyngedouw has committed his studies to political economic analysis of contemporary capitalism, producing several major works on economic globalisation, regional development, finance, and urbanisation. His interests have also included political-ecological themes, and the transformation of nature, urban governance, politics of scale, notably water issues, in Ecuador, Spain, the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. His recent work focuses on the democratic politics and the strategies and tactics of new political movements, and the political ecology of desalination. He has published over 100 academic papers in leading academic journals in geography and cognate disciplines and in scholarly books.
Dave Huitema
Prof. dr. Dave Huitema
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dr. Dave Huitema is Professor of Environmental Policy at the Netherlands Open University and the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.  

Huitema and his group of colleagues focus on the adaptability of policy systems. For policy systems to be adaptable, learning needs to take place and agency needs to be developed to translate learning in policy change. This is why the team is analyzing for example the role of experiments, evaluation, and entrepreneurs in learning and policy innovation.

Currently Huitema fullfils several academic roles. He is deputy chair of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the IVM, vice-chair of the Department of Science of the Faculty of Management, Science and Technology at the Netherlands Open University (OU), member of the Research Committee of the latter Faculty, and he is one of the coordinators of the OU research program on Safety and the City. Huitema is member of the Governing Board of the Dutch National Research School for the Environmental Sciences (SENSE, representing the NL Open University), and he is a member of the editorial board of various academic journals (including "Ecology and Society" and “Global Environmental Change”).

Joyeeta Gupta
Prof. Joyeeta Gupta
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Joyeeta Gupta is co-chair of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook-6 (2016-2019), published by Cambridge University Press, which was presented to governments participating in the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019, and was covered in newspapers worldwide. It has just won the Association of American Publishers PROSE award for Environmental Science. She has also just been named as co-chair of the Earth Commission (2019-2021), set up by Future Earth, together with Johan Rockström and Dahe Qin. She is full professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She is also the Faculty Professor on Sustainability (2019-2024). She leads the program group on Governance and Inclusive Development.
Rutgerd Boelens
Prof. Rutgerd Boelens
University of Amsterdam; Wageningen University and Research

Rutgerd Boelens is Professor of ‘Water Governance and Social Justice’  at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and Professor ‘Political Ecology of Water in Latin America’ with CEDLA, University of Amsterdam. He also is Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Peru and the Central University of Ecuador. He held the 2013-2014 Chair ‘Territorial Studies’ with the Mexican Science Foundation and COLSAN. He coordinated the international Water Law and Indigenous Rights alliance WALIR, and several large water governance and environmental justice research programs. Currently he directs the international Justicia Hídrica/Water Justice alliance ( His research focuses on political ecology, water rights, legal pluralism, water cultures and cultural politics, governmentality, hydrosocial territories, and social mobilization, mainly in Latin America and Spain.

Michelle Kooy
Prof. Michelle Kooy
IHE Delf Institute for Water Education

Dr. Kooy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Water Governance at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education and a guest researcher in the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Kooy’s research and education is concerned with understanding and transforming the politics of urban environments. Trained as a Human Geographer, Dr. Kooy takes water, and water infrastructure, as entry points to understand the processes through which unequal environments in and outside of cities are made, and can be transformed for more socially just and ecologically sustainable outcomes. Dr. Kooy has 20+ years’ experience in environment and development research and practice, both in and outside of academia.

François Molle
Prof. François Molle
Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement

François Molle has 34 years experience in research for development in the fields of irrigation systems and irrigated farming systems analysis, water resources development and management, and water governance and policy. His initial expertise shifted from small dam systems (Northeast of Brazil), to large scale irrigation management (Mali, then Thaialnd, Sri Lanka, Egypt), to the analysis of regional development (Southeast Asian and Nile Deltas), river basin governance and water policy (Southeast Asia, Jordan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Syria, Egypt), and groundwater governance (Middle-east and Northern Africa). François Molle is mostly interested in multi-disciplinary and systemic approach of irrigation systems, aquifers and river basins, governance and policy analysis, and in the interaction between societies, technology and the environment.

Peter  Mollinga
Prof. Peter Mollinga
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Peter Mollinga is Professor of Development Studies, at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London. His research interests are: 1) water and development; 2) the dynamics of agriculture and environmental resources management; 3) interdisciplinarity in efforts at ‘integrated’ natural resources management and governance. His geographical focus is Asia, particularly South Asia and Central Asia. He was trained as an irrigation engineer at Wageningen University, the Netherlands; his Masters dissertation was on small scale irrigation management in the Senegal river valley; his PhD is on irrigation water management in South India. He completed his Habilitation in Development Sociology at the University of Bonn, Germany. Since 2010 he is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS University of London, UK, where he also initiated the Centre for Water and Development.

Mark  Zeitoun
Prof. Mark Zeitoun
University of East Anglia
Mark Zeitoun is Professor of Water Security and Policy, at the University of East Anglia, School of International Development. Mark’s research on environmental policy and politics follows three themes: a) transboundary water conflict and cooperation, at international, sub-national and trans-national levels; b) water policy and social justice issues; and c) urban water supply and treatment during and immediately following armed conflict. The topics are interpreted with theory from numerous disciplines, including political economy, political ecology, justice, law, politics, and hydrology. He has a particular interest in the role that power asymmetry plays, and a geographic focus on the Middle East and Africa. The interests have been cultivated by his role as co-lead in the London Water Research Group and the UEA Water Security Research Centre, both of which take a critical perspective at international transboundary environmental cooperation and conflict, and 'hydro-hegemony'. The activities follow a professional career in water policy, management and negotiations. Mark has worked as a humanitarian-aid water engineer in conflict and post-conflict zones, including in Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Lebanon, Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza. He consults regularly on water negotiations, policy and governance for a variety of organisations. He is author of Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict (IB Tauris 2008), and contributes regularly to debates through public lectures and media pieces.
Maria Cristina Rulli
Prof. Maria Cristina Rulli
Politecnico di Milano

Maria Cristina Rulli is Professor of Hydrology at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Her research focuses on the mutual interaction between hydrological processes and humanity. She has investigated the effects of anthropogenic and natural disturbances such as land use change, climate change, forest fires, and new infrastructures on both the hydrological response and sediment yield of a variety of watersheds at different spatial and temporal scales. Recently, she has been investigating the impact of climate change, urbanization, deforestation, land degradation, population growth, changes in food consumption, changes in energy policies on the management of water and other natural resources. Her work has analyzed the effect of environmental externalities, interdependencies and teleconnections on natural resource availability. In particular, she has focused on the emergent phenomenon of Large Scale Land Acquisition (LSLA) and its implication for water, energy and food security. Her work has helped to define and quantify the global phenomenon of “water grabbing” and explored its impacts on water governance, rural livelihoods, and the emergence of water conflicts.  She is currently investigating global water and food security and environmental sustainability issues using the Food-Energy-Water Nexus perspective. She is studying the nexus existing between hydrological risk and food security. Specifically, she is analyzing the direct effects of hydrologic extremes (e.g., floods, droughts, landslides, hurricanes, typhoons) on food production and availability and the cascades effects on conflicts and human migrations occurrence. Her most recent research concentrates on the nexus between nutritional security and environmental resources especially water. In particular, focusing on food related diseases she is investigating if the available natural resources are able to meet sustainable diets helping to contrast food based diseases. 

Julia Martinez-Fernandez
Dr. Julia Martinez-Fernandez
Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua
Julia Martínez, executive director of FNCA and Phd in Biology (University of Murcia) is an ecologist with 25 years research experience on dynamic modelling and simulation of socio-ecological systems, particularly focusing on arid zones, the social, environmental and economic interactions in irrigated systems, the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the ecology of water-related systems and the integrated water management at basin level. She has coordinated or participated in around 25 national and international research projects on these topics, combining different methodological approaches, such as dynamic system modelling, the development of sustainability indicators and scenario and policy analysis. She is author or co-author of more than 140 scientific publications on these issues. She also has 30 years experience as activist on environmental and water issues and is founding member of different environmental NGOs and citizen initiatives. More information on Julia’s research work at ResearchGate.
Violeta Cabello
Dr. Violeta Cabello
Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua
Violeta Cabello is a multidisciplinar environmental scientist with a special focus on methodological development for the analysis of social-ecological systems and water governance. She is particularly interested in the combination of quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods blending academic and non-academic knowledge. She is a Juan de la Cierva fellow at the Basque Center for Climate Change working on knowledge co-production about the collapse of the Mar Menor Lagoon in collaboration with NeWAVE. She holds a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Seville, focused on integrated assessment of water governance in semi-arid watersheds. She has extensive experience working with grass-roots organisations like FNCA and is a trained facilitator at the Wikitoki Lab for Collaborative Practices. For more information on Violeta’s work see her Research Gate or Twitter: @vcabellov.
Andrea Gerlak
Prof. Andrea Gerlak
University of Arizona

Andrea K. Gerlak is Professor at the School of Geography, Development & Environment (SGDE) and Research Professor at Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, at the University of Arizona.

Her research focuses on institutions for governing water resources. She examines cooperation and conflict around water, including questions of institutional change and adaptation to climate change in rivers basins, and human rights and equity issues in water governance.

Gerlak is a senior research fellow with the Earth System Governance Project, an international social science research alliance exploring political solutions and novel, effective governance mechanisms to address global environmental challenges. She recently served as a Lead Author on the Earth Systems Governance Science and Implementation Plan, which sets out the agenda for the next decade of earth system governance research.

She serves as a co-editor for the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, an international journal published by Taylor and Francis providing a forum for the critical analysis of environmental policy and planning. She also is a member of the editorial board for Anthropocene, a journal addressing the nature, scale, and extent of the influence that people have on Earth.

Maria Kaika
Prof. Maria Kaika
Universiteit van Amsterdam

Maria Kaika holds a PhD from Oxford University, and an MA in Architecture and Planning from the National Technical University of Athens. She is Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2019/20), and Chair in Urban Regional and Environmental Planning, at the University of Amsterdam. She has taught at the Universities of Oxford (tenured), Manchester (tenured) Paris Est (LATTS), KULeuven, University of London and TU Vienna. Her international academic roles include: panel member of the European Research Council (ERC SH2), high level foreign expert of the Belgian Science Policy Office in Humanities, Chief co-Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. (2010-2017), elected Professor of the City of Vienna (2013).  Her research focuses on three interrelated themes: urban political ecology, cities crisis and land financialization, and urban radical imaginaries. She has been awarded funding from national and international research councils including the British Academy, EU Frameworks, and Marie Curie ITN. Maria Kaika is author of many academic articles and books including: City of Flows: Modernity, Nature and the City (2005; Routledge, New York) In the Nature of Cities: urban political ecology and the metabolism of urban environments (2006; Routledge, London with N Heynen and E Swyngedouw)  The political ecology of Austerity (2020 Routledge London, with R Calvario and G Velegrakis).

Aaron Wolf
Prof. Aaron Wolf
Oregon State University

Aaron T. Wolf, PhD is a professor of geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, USA, whose research and teaching focus is on the interaction between water science and water policy, particularly as related to conflict prevention and transformation. A trained mediator/ facilitator, he directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, through which he has offered workshops, facilitations, and mediation in basins throughout the world.  He is the author, most recently, of The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict.