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Sustainability, Risk and Development: Water and the Political Ecology of Sustainable Development - A European Comparative Analysis

Objective



Research objectives and content

In the next century, questions of water supply, access and management, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, will become key issues. Little attention has been paid so far to the central role of social and political themes related to greater water availability risks. Even less has the associated social risks of intensifying water problems as manifestations of wider ecological and socio-economic changes been scrutinised in great detail.

Advanced societies are increasingly confronted with:
1) a greater risk of break-downs in the hydrological cycle,
2) mounting social tensions associated with unanticipated risk conditions and
3) conditions under which traditional managerial approaches and policy frameworks are no longer adequate to deal with the risks associated with such breakdowns.

The proposed project aims at documenting how political conflict, social tensions and interregional competition for water are rapidly becoming a central characteristic of social and political debates on sustainability in Greece and elsewhere.

The proposal has the following objectives:
(i) Chart the recent history of water politics, water supply/demand, and water management in Greece and other selected European countries;
(ii) Document the socio-environmental process underlying the emergent "water crisis" and its associated risk conditions;
(iii) Document and analyse the characteristics and types of social and political conflict and strategies of risk management and conflict resolution.

Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
* Transfer of expertise (on the UK, Belgium, Spain and the US) to host institution through seminar and joint research
* Generating and transferring expertise concerning the changing dynamics of water management and policy in EU member states and, notably, Greece.
* Creation of European network of experts
* Reviewing, analysing and proposing possible trajectories for managing growing risk associated with water issues.
* Publication of research results at an international level
* Preparation of research grant application to Vth Framework Programme

Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
* Water industry representatives will be interviewed and invited to joint seminars

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Address
University Campus
54006 Thessaloniki
Greece