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Nexus Governance: Harnessing Contending Forces at Work

The realm of the natural resources ‘commons’ such as water, air, forests and land or even minerals span an ownership spectrum with shades of grey, from private to public, community to market or formal to informal and much in between. Their efficient and equitable management has long been a matter of concern at levels of both political philosophy and actual practice. With the rise of the environmental movement in the 1960s and the ‘70s as well as its associated justice-seeking social counterpart, the subject has been one of fierce debate; and the current ‘nexus’ debates stem from this pedigree, albeit a bit wiser and more informed as every succeeding generation inevitably is. It also, therefore, carries within it all the unresolved debates of the past, the most of important of which has been that of complexity and complex interlinkages, physical and social, as well as the challenges of managing such an incipient ‘clumsiness’ (as described below) within different socio-environmental contexts, together with their histories that have shaped their unique national and international institutions.

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