Gül Özerol

University of Twente
CSTM - Department of Technology and Governance for Sustainability

PO Box 217
7500 AE
The Netherlands
g.ozerol@utwente.nl |  Visit Personal Website

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My research aims to improve the understanding of how the multiple policy sectors, scales, and institutions influence the sustainable governance of natural resources. This research focuses on the political and social contexts of developing and emerging countries, where the governance of natural resources is shaped by multiple policy sectors that often emphasize economic growth over environmental sustainability.

Özerol, G., Bressers. B., 2015. Scalar alignment and sustainable water governance: The case of irrigated agriculture in Turkey. Environmental Science & Policy 45, 1-10.
Abstract: Irrigated agriculture plays a significant role in global food security and poverty reduction. At the same time its negative impacts on water and land resources threaten environmental sustainability. With the objective of improving the understanding on the complexity of governing water resources for irrigated agriculture, this paper introduces the concept of scalar alignment, which is used to analyse governance implications of spatial and temporal scales. Using empirical data from irrigated agriculture in Turkey, implications of spatial and temporal alignment on environmental sustainability are examined. The findings indicate that both spatial and temporal alignment influence the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policy instruments. Increasing the degree of scalar alignment in irrigated agriculture can contribute to sustainable water governance by contributing to the alleviation of negative impacts and the prevention of further degradation.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901114001749
Özerol, G., Newig, J., 2008. Evaluating the success of public participation in water resources management: five key constituents. Water Policy, 10(6), 639-655
Abstract: Public participation (PP) is increasingly expected to enhance the effectiveness of water resources management. This is recognized in recent legislation such as the European Union Water Framework Directive. We identify five key constituents that affect the success of PP processes and which can be used as indicators thereof. These comprise: 1) the scope of the participants; 2) communication with the public; 3) capacity building; 4) timing; and 5) financing of participation. They are based on the management of resources—namely time, human and financial resources—and on further aspects that emerge from the utilization of these resources throughout the PP process. Drawing on existing case studies from the European Union and Canada, we demonstrate the applicability of our evaluative scheme. We find severe deficits in the PP cases that can all be attributed to the five key constituents. Although not representative, our analysis points to important challenges for water policy, particularly in the European multi-level context.
URL: http://wp.iwaponline.com/content/10/6/639
Özerol, G., 2013. Introduction to a “complicated story”: The role of wastewater reuse to alleviate the water problems of Palestine. Ortadoğu Analiz, 53, 60-70.
Abstract: Water in the Middle East is characterised as a scarce resource that is associated with varying degrees of competition and conflict among its users in basins, countries, and sectors. Like the other arid and semi-arid regions of the world, non-conventional water resources such as wastewater, seawater and rainwater are increasingly promoted in the Middle East. This situation can be explained by the great potential attributed to the non-conventional resources to alleviate the water scarcity problem by producing additional water supply and relieving the increasing pressure on water user sectors. It is however also known that non-conventional water resources entail risks and constraints, influencing their adoption in different social, cultural and economic contexts. Palestine is among the Middle Eastern countries that intensively experience water problems, which are exacerbated due to the conflict with Israel. The paper examines the existing situation in Palestine in terms of the utilisation of non-conventional water resources through focusing on one of the options, namely the reuse of treated wastewater. It is concluded that a strategic approach that addresses capacity-building needs in multiple levels and dimensions is essential for better policies and practice. For such an approach that incorporates the major concerns regarding the reuse of wastewater, improvement areas are identified for capacity-building at local, national and regional levels and for monitoring and evaluation.
URL: http://www.orsam.org.tr/files/OA/53/6gulozerol.pdf
de Boer, C., Vinke-de Kruijf, J., Özerol, G., Bressers, H., (eds.), 2013. Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies on Contextual Water Management. London-New York: Earthscan from Routledge.
Abstract: In an increasingly global community of researchers and practitioners, new technologies and communication means have made the transfer of policies from one country or region to another progressively more prevalent. There has been a lot of attention in the field of public administration paid to policy transfer and institutional transplantation. This book aims to create a better understanding of such transfers in the water management sector. These include the adoption of modern water management concepts, such as integrated water resources management and forms of water governance, which are strongly promoted and sometimes also imposed by various international organizations. Transfers also occur within the scope of development aid or for the purpose of creating business opportunities. In addition, many research organisations, consultancies and governmental agencies are involved in cross-border work. The purpose of this book is therefore to present practical examples of the transfer of modern water management from one locality to another and to critically discuss the transferability of policy and governance concepts by analysing the contextual needs and factors. Case studies are included from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is argued that in many cases context matters in water management and that there is no panacea or universal concept that can be applied to all countries or regions with different political, economic, cultural and technological contexts. Yet it is also shown that some countries are facing pressing and similar water management issues that cut across national borders, and hence the transfer of knowledge may be beneficial.
URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415625975/
Özerol, G., Bressers, H., Coenen, F., 2012. Irrigated agriculture and environmental sustainability: An alignment perspective. Environmental Science and Policy, 23, 57-67.
Abstract: Irrigated agriculture is a key policy issue in many countries since it is the major user of water and land resources while it also threatens environmental sustainability due to the overexploitation, degradation and pollution of water and soil resources. Given its cross-cutting, unstructured and relentless nature, the negative impact of irrigated agriculture on environmental sustainability can be considered as a wicked problem. Building on the integrative approaches to governance, we introduce cross-sectoral alignment as a concept to analyse such wicked problems and operationalise it with three interrelated criteria, namely, actor representation, issue boundaries and working procedures. We apply the concept with empirical data about irrigated agriculture in Turkey, a country that relies on agricultural production in rural areas, expands irrigated agriculture and experiences increasing environmental problems due to irrigated agriculture. The analysis of cross-sectoral alignment in Turkish irrigated agriculture reveals various obstacles to a high level of alignment as well as opportunities to improve the level of alignment. Relieving the obstacles and benefiting from the opportunities is essential to improve cross-sectoral alignment and hence alleviate the negative impact of irrigated agriculture on the environment.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901112001116
Özerol, G., 2013. Institutions of farmer participation and environmental sustainability: A multi-level analysis from irrigation management in Harran Plain, Turkey. International Journal of the Commons, 7(1), 73-91.
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between farmer participation and environmental sustainability from an institutional perspective in the context of Harran Plain, one of the newest and largest irrigated areas in Turkey. Harran Plain undergoes social, economic and institutional change due to the expansion of large-scale irrigation and the establishment of irrigation associations. These changes, however, trigger an environmental change in the form of waterlogging and soil salinisation. The concepts of ‘institutional scale’ and ‘institutional alignment’ are applied to critically analyse the narratives regarding the causes of excessive water use, which is a collective action problem playing a significant role in increased waterlogging and soil salinity in Harran Plain. Empirical findings demonstrate that a low degree of institutional alignment among the rules at different levels constitutes an obstacle against taking actions to prevent excessive water use. Major issues are identified as the lack of water rights at plot and district levels; the exclusion of farmers from the planning of irrigation seasons; the inefficient monitoring of irrigation frequencies and fee collections, and the lack of mechanisms to monitor the operations of irrigation associations. The application of institutional scale and institutional alignment also contribute to the understanding of social-ecological systems by facilitating the systematic analysis of institutions and the identification of areas for institutional change.
URL: http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/article/view/368

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Governance SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY