In this paper, the authors analyse how actors involved in the governance of water, energy and food systems are embedded in social networks, and discuss how that embeddedness shapes collaboration and coordination processes that are relevant for addressing interconnected sustainability challenges. Drawing on the notion of problemsheds, they delineate an analytical space that captures the interactions between water, energy and food systems and the actors influencing them in the Upper Blue Nile of Ethiopia. Their empirical data suggest that the claim that actors from different sectors are disconnected from each other is overly simplistic. The ways in which actors are embedded in hierarchical structures may help to explain why coordination challenges persist, despite the presence of cross-sectoral linkages among them.
- Embeddedness shapes opportunities and constraints for cross-sectoral collaboration.
- Problematises technocratic approaches for addressing nexus challenges.
- Cross-sectoral relationships are intertwined with hierarchical power structures.
- Boundaries for nexus analysis need to be contextualised rather than imposed.
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Available online 22 February 2018
Environmental Science & Policy, Elsevier.
In Press, Corrected Proof.