Research & Publications


My research is focused on the intersection of public policy and the environment. Over the years, I developed 4 major lines in my research:

1) Policy Translation. I am interested in how western-born environmental and water policy innovations touch ground in new contexts in order to offer hints to facilitate and improve upon this process. Read more on this page.

2) Discursive Hegemony. I am interested in how global environmental and water policy narratives gain and maintain hegemony in policy and academic circles. What are the mechanisms by which policy models become hegemonic? What is necessary for change in discursive hegemony to occur? What impacts do hegemonies have on realities on the ground?

3) Multiple Forms of Knowledge in Public Policy. I am interested in how policy-makers and public managers can make use of multiple ways of knowing in environmental governance. Scientific knowledge is only one, there is indigenous knowledge, knowledge based on rituals, practice and values. They all are valuable and need to be included in the policy-making process.

4) Emotions in Environmental Policy. I am interested in the role of emotions in changing environmental attitudes and promoting sustainable public policies in the world. I approach emotions and behavioral science from a public policy perspective and ask questions about the transition to sustainability and the place of so-called “libertarian paternalism” in it.


Special Issues of Journals

Special Issue “Crafting or Designing? Science, Politics and Conditions Determining Processes of Intended Institutional Change for Social-Ecological Systems” Environmental Science and Policy, 53 (B), 2015. With Thiel, A., and Zikos, D.

Refereed Journal Articles

Mukhtarov, F., Pierce, R. and Gerlak, A. (2017) Away from Fossil-Fuels and Toward a Bioeconomy: Knowledge Versatility for Public Policy? Environment and Planning C, 35(6): 1010-1028.

Mukhtarov, F., de Jong, M. and Pierce, R. (2017) Political and Ethical Aspects in the Ethnography of Policy Translation: Research Experiences from Turkey and China. Environment and Planning A, 49(3): 612-630.

Gerlak, A., and Mukhtarov, F. (2016) Many Faces of Security: Discursive Framing in Cross-border Natural Resource Governance in the Mekong River Commission. Globalizations, 13 (6): 719-740.

Thiel, A., Mukhtarov, F. and Zikos, D. (2015) Crafting or Designing? Science, Politics and Conditions Determining Processes of Intended Institutional Change for Social-Ecological Systems. Environmental Science and Policy, 53 (B): 81-86.

Mukhtarov, F., Fox, S., Mukhamedova, N., and Wegerich, K. (2015) Institutional Design in the Face of Contextual Relevance: Water User Associations in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Environmental Science and Policy, 53 (B): 206-214.

Gerlak, A. and Mukhtarov, F. (2015) ‘Ways of Knowing Water’: Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Security as Complementing Discourses. International Negotiations and Environmental Agreements (INEA), 15 (3): 257–272.

*Mukhtarov, F. (2014) Rethinking the Travel of Ideas: Policy Translation in the Water Sector. Policy and Politics, 42 (1): 71-88.*In top 3 most cited articles in the journal in the last 5 years, 41 citations in Google Scholar.

Mukhtarov, F. and Gerlak, A. (2014) Epistemic Forms of Integrated Water Resources Management: Towards Versatility of Knowledge. Policy Sciences, 47 (2): 101-120.

Mukhtarov, F., Osseweijer, P., and Pierce, R. (2014) The Global Governance of Biofuels: Case for Private Governance? Bio-based and Applied Economics, 3 (3): 101-110.

Mukhtarov, F. and Gerlak, A. (2013) River Basin Organizations in the Global Water Discourse: an Exploration of Agency and Strategy. Global Governance, 19 (2): 307-326.

Mukhtarov, F., Brock, A., Janssen, S., and Guigner, A. (2013) Actors and Strategies in Translating Global Conservation Narratives to Vietnam. Policy and Society, 32 (2): 113-124

Books and Book Chapters

Thiel, A., and Mukhtarov, F. (2018) Institutional design for adaptive governance of natural resource governance: the role of agency and polycentricity. In “Sage Handbook of Nature”, Eds (Terry Marsten et al.), Sage. Forthcoming.

Mukhtarov, F. (2017) Reflexivity, Positionality, and Normativity in Studying Policy Translation. In Tobias Berger, Alejandro Esguerra (Eds), Translation in World Politics. Routledge Series of the Centre on Global Cooperation.

Mukhtarov, F. and Daniell, K. (2016) Transfer, diffusion, adaptation and translation of water policy models. In Ken Conca and Erika Weindthal (Eds), Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy, Oxford University Press. Online. URL:

Mukhtarov, F. and Cherp, A. (2014) The hegemony of integrated water resources management as a global water discourse. In Victor Squires, Hugh Milner, and Katherine Daniell (Eds), River Basin Management in Twenty-First Century: Understanding People and Places, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp. 3-21.

Mukhtarov, F. (2013) Translating water policy innovations into Kazakhstan: the importance of context. In Cheryl de Boer, Joanne-de Kruijf, Gul Ozerol and Hans Bressers (Eds), Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies on Contextual Water Management, Earthscan: London, pp. 113-128.

Mukhtarov, F. (2008) Intellectual history and current status of integrated water resources management: a global perspective. In Claudia Pahl-Wostl , Pavel Kabat, Joerg Möltgen (Eds), Adaptive and Integrated Water Management: Coping with Complexity and Uncertainty. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.167-185.

Mukhtarov, F. (2008) The Prospects of Privatization of Water Supply Services: With Focus on Private Sector Participation in Water Supply and Sanitation Sector in Secondary Towns of Azerbaijan. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.

Manuscripts in Review

Mukhtarov, F. , Dieperink, C., and Driessen, P. The Influence of Information and Communication Technologies on Public Participation in Urban Water Governance: A Review of Place-based Research. Water Alternatives. Submitted.

Leong, Ch., and Mukhtarov, F. Translating Global Policy in Local Context in Cambodia: The Constructivist Turn in IPE and Policy Studies. Regional Environmental Change.Submitted. 

Reviews and Review Essays

Mukhtarov, F. (2017) Policies on the move: Translation, assemblages and ethnography. Book review essay. Environment and Planning C, 35 (1): 191-194.

Mukhtarov, F. and Cherp, A. (2015) Water security. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press. Online. URL:

Cherp, A. and Mukhtarov, F. (2015) Energy security. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press. Online. URL:

Policy Reports and Media Appearances

Koop, S. Mukhtarov, F., Dieperink, C., Driessen, P. and van Leeuwen, K. (2017) Guidance document for the analysis of Urban Water Cycle Services governance in municipalities and regions. Deliverable for EC project Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges (POWER), GA N.687809.

Mukhtarov, F. (2015) Climate change strikes oil & gas industry: Tragedy in the Caspian Sea. Hurriyet Daily News, December 21, 2015. (Hurriyet Daily News is the Leading Turkish English Langauge Newspaper with 600 000 copies of daily circulation).

Mukhtarov, F., Huitema, D., Medvey, J., Kouwenhoven, R., Uribe, M., and Funke, N. (2011) Agency in Biodiversity Conservation: Park Decisions in Developing countries, International Meta-Trends and their Implementation. EC FP-7 LiveDiverse Project Background Report 2 for 6.2.

Mukhtarov, F. (2009) Integrated Water Resources Management: Global Water Collaborations on the Rise. Water World, online. URL:
UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (2009) IWRM Implementation in Basins, Sub-basins and Aquifers: State of the Art Review. Contributor.

Mukhtarov, F. (2005) Review of the experience of using economic environmental policy instruments in Azerbaijan. The Caspian Panorama, (1): 17–19.