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 Communication. I currently have a project on environmental communication and the role of emotions in changing environmental attitudes and promoting public engagement in Azerbaijan (post-Soviet space). The key goal here is to understand and employ emotions in changing environmental attitudes and behavior of people.



Mukhtarov, F., de Jong, M. and Pierce, R. (2016) Political and ethical aspects in the ethnography of policy translation: Research experiences from Turkey and China. Environment and Planning A. Prepublished October 18, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/0123456789123456

Mukhtarov, F., , Gerlak, A. and Pierce, R. Away from Fossil-Fuels and Toward a Bioeconomy: Knowledge Versatility for Public Policy?  Environment and Planning C. In press.

Mukhtarov, F. (2016) Policies on the Move: Translation, Assemblages and Ethnography (Book review essay). Environment and Planning C. Online first.

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

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.

Mukhtarov, F., Fox, S., Mukhamedova, N., Wegerich, K. (2015) Institutional design in the face of contextual relevance: water user groups in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Environmental Science & Policy, 53 (206-214).

Mukhtarov, F. and Gerlak, A.(2015) Ways of knowing integrated water resources management and water security as complementing discourses. International Negotiations and Environmental Agreements (INEA). Online.

Mukhtarov, F. and Cherp, A. (2015) Water Security. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press.

Cherp, A. and Mukhtarov, F. (2015) Energy Security. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press.

Mukhtarov, F. (2014) Rethinking the travel of ideas: policy translation in the water sector. Policy and Politics. DOI:

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

Mukhtarov, F., Osseweijer, P., and Pierce, R. (2014) The global governance of biofuels: case for private governance? Applied and Bio-based Economics.

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. In Press.


Mukhtarov, F. (2009) The Hegemony of Integrated Water Resources Management: a Study of Policy Translation in England, Turkey and Kazakhstan. Doctoral thesis, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Budapest.

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.


Mukhtarov, F. and Daniell, K. Translation, diffusion and adaptation of water policy models. In Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy. Oxford University Press. Online 2017..

Mukhtarov, F. and Cherp, A. (2014). The Hegemony and Contextual Governance: Integrated Water Resources Management and Global Water Discourse. In Daniell, K. et al. (eds) River Basin Management in Twenty-First Century: Understanding People and Places, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Mukhtarov, F. (2013) Translating water policy innovations into Kazakhstan: the importance of context. In Vinke de Kruijf et al. (eds) Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies on Contextual Water Management, Earthscan: London.

Mukhtarov, F. (2008) Intellectual History and Current Status of Integrated Water Resources Management: a Global Perspective. In Pahl-Wostl, C., Kabat, P. & Möltgen, J. (Eds.) Adaptive and Integrated Water Management: Coping with Complexity and Uncertainty. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.167-185.

Mukhtarov, F. (2007) Privatization of Social Policy of Water Supply in the South Caucasus. In Social Policy and Regional Development. Zagreb: The Institute of Economics and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, pp. 91-115.

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


Mukhtarov, F., Pierce, R., de Jong, M. (2013) “Policy translation and ethnography: ethical challenges and strategies to overcome them”. Interpretative Policy Analysis 2013, Vienna, July 03-05.

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.

UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (2009) IWRM Implementation in Basins, Sub-basins and Aquifers: State of the Art Review. Contributor.

Mukhtarov, F. (2007) Global Water Governance and the Concept of Legitimacy. Proceedings of the GRSC/GARNET International Conference on “Pathways to Legitimacy”. University of Warwick, Sep 17 – Sep 19, 2007.