dynamic deltas

special issue

Deadline full papers extended

Selected authors for the Dynamic Deltas Special Issue originally were asked to submit their full papers by 1 September 2017.

After picking up signals that several authors are not able to finish their papers  we have extended the deadline; the new deadline for submission is 1 October 2017.

Call for abstracts now open

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit a delta-related paper for a Special issue, intended for publication in 2018. Delta research is relatively new and exciting domain and while deltas are physically sinking, concern for and research on deltas is notably on the rise.

We are looking for interdisciplinary papers, preferably focused on the science-policy interface reflecting topical research and analysis on deltas as dynamic socio-eco-technical systems. While Delta Plans in the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Vietnam have kickstarted such research, you do not have to limit yourself to these deltas. If this invite appeals to you, please prepare and send a 150 word abstract before 1 May 2017. Normal review procedure applies.

We are looking forward to your contributions!

Deltas are sinking! Deltas are on the rise!

Deltas are increasingly taking the limelight as vulnerable, disaster-prone spaces in the forefront of climate change. Since the turn of the century climate change has fundamentally altered many global, regional and local policy agendas. The current debate on climate brings an apocalyptic message for those regions at the intersections between river and sea. The (disputed) “Anthropocene” label functions in these debates as an indicator of how humans figure as culprits. The dominant image is that humans make deltas sink.

But the image of drowning deltas simplifies a richer, exciting picture of human, environmental, policy and technological dynamics that together make the delta on the edge of land and water. Delta rivers deposit silt and sand, forming highly fertile lands, which in turn attract human populations who make these wetlands into their habitats. In many deltas around the world, and in geological terms incredibly rapidly, “wetland natures” are thus being transformed into agri-cultural and urban cultural spaces. In recent years, such transformations have typically unfolded through engineering projects, concretizing the modernist belief that nature is distinct and distinguishable from society/culture. Delta technologies typically facilitate divisions, distinguishing ‘good’ water from ‘bad’ (good water benefiting domestic and agricultural life, bad water causing destructive flooding and waterlogging), fresh versus saline.

The introduction of infrastructural works have inevitably brought unforeseen, major consequences, such as biodiversity and cultural loss and accelerated land subsidence, endangering the fertile characteristics that made them the interesting places to live in in the first place. These effects have sparked, in some circles, a reconsideration of what deltas are, questioning the very separation and control relation between nature and culture, and how deltas are to be dealt with.

This special issue captures the study of the (socio-eco-techno) dynamics that make deltas in different corners of the world. It investigates and interrogates how Deltas are subject to and interacting with: (1) technologies/infrastructure; (2) knowledge and planning; and (3) policy mobility and networks.

Special issue guest editors:

Jeroen F Warner is Associate Professor of Disaster Studies at Wageningen University and Special Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He coordinates the European Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action EDUCEN, on disaster and culture.

He has over 100 publications and is co-editor of the International Journal of Water Governance and Regions and Cohesion and editor of Ambiente e Sociedade. He has co-edited special issues for the International Journal of Water Resources Development (2006), Water Alternatives (2010) and International Journal of Water Governance (2013)  He has edited or co-edited 7 books including The Politics of Water (Routledge 2010), Multi-Stakeholder Platforms for Integrated Water Management (Ashgate 2007) and Making Space for the River (IWA Press 2012).


Arjen Zegwaard works as a research associate at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam. His work forms a part of the DoUbT – Deltas dealing with uncertainties project .

Arjen did his PhD on Dutch delta planning and the travels of DuTch delta knowledge and expertise to (South)East Asian deltas.

Farhana Ahmed is currently finishing her PhD at VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and working as Specialist in Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS – A Public Trust under the Ministry of Water Resources), Bangladesh. Her PhD is titled Resilient Adaptation to Urban Flooding due to Urban Growth and Climate Change Dynamics.

Farhana has authored reports on Climate Change Vulnerability of Drinking Water for IUCN – Bangladesh and on Assessment of Sea Level Rise on Bangladesh Coast through Trend Analysis for the Department of Environment, Bangladesh. She ghost-edited the book Strategic Adaptation Towards Water Crisis.



Deadline for abstracts: 1 May 2017

Selection of papers: 31 May 2017

Deadline paper: 1 October 2017

Internal review: 31 October 2017

External review: 31 December 2017

Publication of SI: first half of 2018