Liquid Relations is the fruit of solid relations of fellowship, research collaboration, and friendship. It is the result of efforts of individual researchers and professionals engaged in this collective endeavor, who have joined their visions, ideas, and concepts as well as points of debate, consensus, and contradiction. Our common purpose was to shed light on a largely unexplored domain that now receives growing attention: the field of research and action concerning the role of legal pluralism in water control.
Since we organized a panel on water rights and legal pluralism at the XIIIth International Congress on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism in Chang Mai, Thailand in 2002, many persons have supported and encouraged us to continue working on this issue and deepen the understanding of the dynamic relationships among water rights, power, and legal complexity. Therefore, we are most grateful to the organizers of the congress, Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Melanie Wiber, Sunita Thapa, and particularly to Rajendra Pradhan, who also compiled three impressive volumes containing the overall congress results.
A number of other friends and colleagues have also greatly contributed to this book. We gratefully acknowledge Paul Gelles, WALIR/University of California at Riverside, and Gilbert Levine, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies/Cornell University, for reading the chapters and giving very insightful, constructive comments to an earlier version of the book. Next, we very much appreciated the thought-provoking, stimulating debates with our colleagues at the departments of Irrigation and Water Engineering, and of Law and Governance, both at Wageningen University. Both departments and their staff take interdisciplinary work seriously and give it their full support. This book continues a longer history of cooperation between the two departments on issues such as water rights and legal pluralism. We hope that more will follow. Special thanks are due to Maria Pierce and Gerda de Fauw for their support to this book.
We also would like to express our gratitude to the academic and actionresearch networks and institutions that have supported research and publication. This book was published with the support of the New Delhi office of the Ford Foundation, for which we would like to express our gratitude. Further, this