The Knowledge Nexus and Transdisciplinarity
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Recent decades have witnessed the emergence of various movements concentrating on interconnections among nature, society and technology – and the disciplines that deal with them – whether under the broad title of environmental science, or more specific intellectual traditions like transition theory (Geels, 2002; Loorbach, Frantzeskaki & Avelino, 2017; Schwanen 2018). This compulsion is even more prevalent among resource managers who have to balance competing claims for contradictory ends. Water managers, for instance, have long wrestled with the uncomfortable fact that water is not so much a subject of study or praxis but more realistically a focal point where just about every subject taught in a university's different departments intersect: from atmospheric physics to hydrogeology, from civil engineering to economics, law, sociology, politics, ethics and even literature (Gyawali 2010). How to solve a water problem facing a business, community or municipality without running into opposition from competing claimants or disciplines has been a vexing and perennial problem. Efforts to address this difficulty is what led to the emergence of the movement for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), itself a successor to the earlier approach which was the hydrology-inspired river basin management of the 1960s (Chapter 3). Allan (2003) has argued that IWRM too is failing since its votaries are not recognizing that it is broader than water and environment, that both integration and management are political processes which requires greater disciplinary ecumenism than practiced currently.
CitationAllouche, J., Middleton, C. and Gyawali, D. (2019) 'The Knowledge Nexus and Transdisciplinarity', in J. Allouche; C. Middleton and D. Gyawali (eds), The Water–Food–Energy Nexus, Routledge
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