Water Talks Series n°2 - Dr. Manuel Fischer

The Geneva Water Hub – Education & Knowledge component– is proud to present the 2nd edition of the "Water Talk Series". This series is an open-speech opportunity for researchers to expose and explain their ideas, their stances on contemporary challenges linked to water governance. The presentations, are in English or in French, short and impactful.

Dr. Manuel Fischer is Researcher at the Department of Environmental Social Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), and lecturer at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern. Dr. Fischer studies complex policymaking processes, policy networks and new institutional arrangements, with a focus on water and environmental policy. His methodological expertise include qualitative comparative analysis and network analysis (more information on the Eawag website)

Water Policymaking: Three Challenges to Policy Analysis

The analysis of water policymaking involves many complex elements, which pose new challenges to traditional approaches to policy analysis. My talk will address three types of innovative theoretical and conceptual approaches to deal with the complexity of water-related issues. First, water-related issues transcend many different policy sectors such as energy, agricultural, environmental or infrastructure policy. Water policy analysis thus need to be able to take into account overlapping policy sectors. Second, traditional institutions of policymaking have a hard time dealing with water-related issues, which need the inclusion of a broad set of stakeholders and scientists. Understanding the functioning of new, informal and horizontally organized policy forums is thus crucial. Third, the successful management of water and environmental issues crucially depends on how actors relate to these natural resources, both in terms of regulation and use of the resources. We thus need to assess how governance structures fit to resource structures in so-called socio-ecological networks.