Do national borders really matter? The influence of border perceptions on cooperation in trans-boundary water quality management

Herzog, Laura M.; Sohn, Christophe (12 January 2017). Do national borders really matter? The influence of border perceptions on cooperation in trans-boundary water quality management (Unpublished). In: Swiss Political Science Association (SPSA) Annual Conference 2017. St. Gallen, Switzerland. 11.01.-12.01.2017.

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The resource water crosses national and regional borders, making coordination among different stakeholders and jurisdictions a relevant condition for successful trans-boundary water quality management. While cooperation is a well-studied issue in political science when it comes to conflict resolution or the management of so-called common pool resources, less attention is given to the actual causes of cooperation – and even less so to the influence borders might have on cooperation. We address this issue by combining insights from policy and border studies and by asking a) how actors involved in trans-boundary water quality management perceive the impact of borders on cross-border cooperation; and b) whether border perceptions have an impact on cooperation between such actors. Drawing on data from a survey in the cross-border region of Basel in the international catchment area of the river Rhine, we analyze border perceptions of and cooperation patterns among actors who are involved in water quality management of surface water of the river Rhine. Through a descriptive analysis we reveal actors’ perception pattern of border effects; via an inferential network analysis applying a statistical model of the family of exponential random graph models (ERGM) we test the influence these border perceptions have on cooperation among our set of actors. Our findings show that the perception of borders does have an impact on the emergence of cooperation, thereby enhancing common theories of cooperation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Herzog, Laura Mae Jacqueline


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Laura Mae Jacqueline Herzog

Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2017 17:20

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:04

Additional Information:

Titel im Programm: Influence of borders on cross-border cooperation to manage water quality

Uncontrolled Keywords:

border effects; border perception; cooperation; water resource management; ERGM




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