PhD defence A. (Alberto) Quintavalla
- Prof.dr. K. Heine
- Prof.dr. E. Hey
On Wednesday 16 December 2020, A. Quintavalla will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Water: Conceptualisations, Regulatory Approaches and Scrutinising EU Water Law’.
This dissertation contributes to the answering of one question – if we conceptualise water as fragmented, should we adopt an integrated regulatory approach? The response is that we can, but we should not. While the integration of water resource management has become the dominant paradigm among water experts, its results are mixed at best. Integration has not been a panacea for water management; it is only under certain conditions that integration functions well. The thesis corroborates this point by analysing European Union water regulation, in particular, its Water Framework Directive. This dissertation thus reflects on integration from a regulatory perspective and concludes that its role is tangential compared to the central problems of water management: the literature’s emphasis on integration is misplaced.
While arguing that, this study shows that water regulation depends on physical and sociocultural perceptions that may vary across space and over time. Water is indeed a complex resource, encompassing multifaceted conceptualisations in science and society. Such conceptualisations not only contribute to how water is made known, but also appeal to various legitimisations and logics of how this resource is to be managed. It follows that a unique set of economic and legal arrangements devised a priori will not do justice to the multiple social constructions of water.
Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall of the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.