Water Policy and Governance in South Asia: Empowering Rural Communities, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Water Policy and Governance in South Asia

Empowering Rural Communities, 1st Edition

By M. Anwar Hossen


222 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138367401
pub: 2018-09-27
Hardback: 9781138690660
pub: 2017-03-17
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pub: 2017-03-16
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Dr. Hossen carried out an exceptional program of research in Bangladesh which focused on water governance in relation to human rights, international water law and environmental sustainability. His major argument is that eco-agricultural system encounters major disruptions due to a number of factors including regional hydropolitics and neoliberal and highly centralized approaches to water resource management that follow the principles of "ecocracy." In this context, Dr. Hossen explores three major questions: (i) How can local ecological knowledge be incorporated into national water policy? (ii) What strategies and reforms are required at the international watershed governance level? and (iii) How can human rights principles, including the principle of water as a human right, be used to formulate more effective water policy and governance principles?

To answer these questions, Dr. Hossen explores the effects of regional hydropolitics on water management, focusing on three large engineering projects, the Farakka Barrage built by India on the Ganges River, and the Ganges-Kobodak (GK) and Gorai River Restoration (GRR) Projects in Bangladesh. This analysis is based on his research into local knowledge and farming practices during a year of fieldwork in 2011-12, focus group discussions, in-depth case studies and social survey methods. In addition to this primary data, he looks at extensive secondary documents from the government of Bangladesh pertaining to water management, agricultural modernization and institutional structures. The arguments herein are applicable particularly to the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin countries in South Asia but also to the river basins of other parts of the world.

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgement

List of Acronyms

Glossary of Bengali Terms


Organization of the Book

1. River Water, Power and Agricultural Community Livelihoods: The Ganges Basin Context

2. The Ganges Dependent Area in Bangladesh

3. The Gorai River Restoration and the Ganges-Kobodak Projects

4. Agricultural Transformation at Chapra

5. Local Governments’ Roles to Protect the Marginalized Communities

6. Human Rights at Chapra

7. Political Resistance, Conflict and Social Movements

8. Water Governance at the Ganges Basin


About the Author

M. Anwar Hossen (PhD, UBC, Canada) is Professor of Sociology at Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General