Going Dutch in the Mekong Delta: a framing perspective on water policy translation

N. Laeni*, M. A. van den Brink, E. M. Trell, E. J. M. M. Arts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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In response to the rising climatic impacts on worldwide urbanized deltas, the Netherlands has strategically and politically framed Dutch water management as a global water solution for improving water safety and flood protection in other countries such as Vietnam. Being renowned for its water management approach, the Netherlands is particularly active in sharing water knowledge, insights, and policies internationally. This paper connects a framing perspective to policy translation studies to understand the role of language and meaning-making in the cross-border travel of policies. Adopting a framing perspective, it presents four dimensions of water policy translation concerning how policy frames are being created and interpreted - during the cross-border travel. The paper follows the process of the Dutch water management approach being 'packaged' as global water solutions and 'translated' to inform the development of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta Plan of 2013. The results show that although similar concepts, metaphors and narratives could be witnessed in this translation process, the local use and interpretation of these concepts remain challenging. Inclusive engagement, shared and comprehensive understanding, and continuous exchange and learning processes could help to improve cross-border policy-making for sustainable delta management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy Planning
Publication statusPublished - 14-Jul-2020


  • Policy translation
  • policy framing
  • water management
  • Dutch water management
  • Mekong Delta Plan

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