Narratives and Memories for Resilience: Exploring the Missing Link between Engagement and Water Governance in Brazil and the United Kingdom

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Danilo Rothberg
Joanne Garde-Hansen


From an interdisciplinary, communication and trans-cultural perspective, participation in water governance should include non-political activities and engagement. In Brazil, it is mandatory for decision-making bodies to include society’s active participation, a democratic principle that speaks to a concept of ‘hydro-citizenship’ that is currently being explored in the UK, wherein top-down water governance is giving way to community-led adaptation planning. The opportunities for social and cultural learning have been explored in our UK and Brazil collaborative research. We offer relevant insights about the value of story, narrative and memories as emerging components of resilience beyond collective, community or national political containers. We argue that a missing link in the literature is the one between narratives, social memory and environmental resilience as a personally shared culture water. These insights have the potential to address participation and governance gaps through recourse to a trans-cultural understanding of socially networked communication about water management.

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How to Cite
Rothberg, D., & Garde-Hansen, J. (2019). Narratives and Memories for Resilience: Exploring the Missing Link between Engagement and Water Governance in Brazil and the United Kingdom. Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies, 8(1-2), 263-284. Retrieved from
General Articles
Author Biographies

Danilo Rothberg, São Paulo State University (Unesp)

Professor of Sociology of Communication and Media Studies at the Sao Paulo State University, Unesp, Brazil. School of Architecture, Arts and Communication, Department of Human Sciences. Head of the Postgraduate Programme in Communication.

PhD in Sociology by the Sao Paulo State University, Unesp. Brazil.  Master of Communication by the Sao Paulo State University, Unesp, Brazil. Bachelor in Communication and Journalism by the Sao Paulo State University, Unesp, Brazil.

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Warwick, Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies. Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London, School of Arts and Humanities, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries. Visiting Lecturer, The Open University, Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, Department of Communications & Systems, UK. Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, UK.

Joanne Garde-Hansen, University of Warwick

Dr Joanne Garde-Hansen is Reader in Culture, Media and Communication, and directs the Centre for Cultural & Media Policy Studies and teaches on the MA Global Media and Communication. Her research and teaching focus upon media, memory, archives and heritage. This is manifest in two strands of research. The first, relates to her collaboration with television researchers on television history, heritage and memory and the co-founding of the Centre for Television History, Heritage and Memory. The second, is in her collaboration with geographers, water scientists and the Centre for Floods, Communities and Resilience on the relationship between culture and water, rivers, flooding and drought. She has published on media and memory, television, archives, and water memories and heritage. She is a Fellow of the HE Academy, was nominated for a National Teaching Fellowship in 2005, and has won awards for outstanding module design and public engagement.


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