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Reconciliation with the River: Analysis of a Concept Emerging from Practice

Rafael Ziegler

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 399-431. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947928264390


The European Rivers Network (ERN) calls for the 'reconciliation of citizens with their rivers and lakes', as a necessary step for freshwater protection and restoration of rivers. It co-ordinates annual river-bathing days with collective river jumps; upstream and downstream, across Europe, citizens simultaneously jump into rivers and lakes. But what is 'reconciliation with the river'? This paper analyses that concept as the acknowledging and restoring of distorted, marginalised or blocked capabilities, and, based on this analysis, critically discusses the practical contribution which the ERN makes to 'reconciliation with the river'.


Reconciliation, water ethics, capabilities, Water Framework Directive, European Rivers Network

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Editorial: Borders and Boundaries. Simon Hailwood

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