Farhad Mukhtarov gives plenary lecture at workshop on environmental governance
On 29 January 2020, Dr Farhad Mukhtarov gave a plenary lecture at the Environmental Governance: Policy Discourse, Deliberative Practices, and Public Participation conference held at the National University of Singapore.
In his lecture, entitled 'Bring in the Dutch! Dutch Water Authorities going Global and what it means for Policy Travel Studies', Dr Mukhtarov investigated the processes through which the Dutch Water Authorities (DWA), a public institution with a local (sub-regional) mandate in the Netherlands, set out to pursue international activities in 2018 through a partnership with two Dutch Ministries.
This case study is intended as an illustration of a broader theme: the Dutch water sector’s state-sponsored, well-coordinated, and multi-pillar branding and marketing campaign to help Dutch businesses and other actors to penetrate global markets and/or increase their political standing.
In his lecture he posed four questions:
- Why do organizations with a local mandate, such as the Dutch Water Authorities, pursue international visibility and involvement? – the why question
- What are the mechanisms and processes by which the Dutch Water Authorities frame themselves as internationally relevant and capable, in this case, through the Blue Deal Framework document? – the how question
- What are the potential dangers of commercial water policy transfer for recipient localities and for the Netherlands? – the what if question
- What are broader implications of commercialization of water policy transfer to the emerging field of 'policy travel studies'? – the so what question
About the conference
The Environmental Governance: Policy Discourse, Deliberative Practices, and Public Participation conference focused on the interplay among policy discourses, deliberative practices, public participation and environmental governance. It examined how policy publics, politicians, citizens and other communities can influence governmental decisions, and vice versa.
In particular, it focused on these interactions in the context of the uncertainties that have been created by the rise of populism and the apparent irrationalities across different governance regimes, including the phenomenon of post-truth politics.