The “International” in Water–Society Relations: A Case Study of an Arctic Urban Watershed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Water inspires innovative ways of thinking about circulation, power, and knowledge. Power circulates in water-society relations in different ways: within and between discourses about what the problem with water is, within constituting networks of agencies and alliances to solve problematic water-society relations, and defining different positions in regard to the future of water-society relations. The dimension of “the international” in water-society relations remains understudied, due to the territorially, legally, and institutionally bound approaches in studies of water governance. The watershed in the city of Rovaniemi in northern Finland, a meeting point of two major rivers, provides a case study for discussing the elusive “international” in complex, entangled water-society relations. Located near the Arctic Circle, the urban watershed is a regulated, disciplined, and governmentalized – yet contested – space in numerous ways as a site involving nature protection, energy and climate politics, flood protection, and water management by multilevel governance incorporating local, regional, national, and European dimensions. The current complex and entangled water-society relations in the watershed are analyzed via multisite data to map multiple issues, relations of power, and positions towards the watershed and its future, exemplifying the relationally diverse nature of water-society relations beyond territorial boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCold Waters
Subtitle of host publicationTangible and Symbolic Seascapes of the North
EditorsMarkku Lehtimäki, Arja Rosenholm, Elena Trubina, Nina Tynkkynen
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-10149-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-10148-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesSpringer Polar Sciences


  • Arctic
  • Water governance
  • Governmentality
  • Situational analysis

Field of science

  • Environmental sciences


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