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Mollinga, Peter (2020) 'Knowledge, context and problemsheds: a critical realist method for interdisciplinary water studies.' Water International, 45 (5). pp. 388-415.

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Understanding water issues as problemsheds addresses the narrowly water-centred framing of watershed and basin-focused water research and policy. In a critical realist approach problemshed also serves to identify the context-specificity of water knowledge, by navigating between the extremes of positivist generalization and interpretivist local specificity and bridging the divide between academic and applied research by identifying the structural similarity in their problem framing. Problemshed is operationalized by situating it in critical realism’s structures-mechanisms-events ontology, and by drawing on realist evaluation’s context-mechanism-outcome configurations. I use large-scale canal irrigation in India to illustrate how this is done.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Interdisciplinary water studies, problemshed, CMO configuration, critical realism, contextuality of knowledge
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 02508060
Copyright Statement: Full Terms and Conditions of access and use can be found at
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 15:26

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