© Alberto Matenhauer Urbinatti, Lira Luz Benites-Lazaro, Carolina Monteiro de Carvalho and Leandro Luiz Giatti
In the last decade, the debate on the governance of water, energy, and food (WEF) has intensified, spurring the emergence of the term “nexus governance.” In general, the reduction of trade-offs and construction of synergies between WEF have been placed on the scientific, political, and economic agenda. However, although increasingly used, it is difficult to find a clear meaning and definition of what the term represents. Based on a systematic literature review (SLR), using text-mining and machine learning algorithms, this article investigates what are the conceptual basis of the nexus governance debate, and attempts to clarify the main themes, networks, and gaps within this literature. The analysis is based on quantitative and qualitative methods, combining social network analysis (SNA) and discourse analysis (DA). The results highlighted that twenty-four governance-related concepts support this literature, breaking down into eight groups: water and basin governance; environmental and systems governance; risk and resource security governance; economic governance; global governance; urban governance; integrative and cooperative governance; and “epistemic” and transdisciplinary governance.