In the past decade, security has emerged as a new discourse in water governance beyond transboundary conflicts and cooperation. This paper will examine how security is framed in the context of international river basin organizations (RBOs), key regional organizations in transboundary water governance operating in many international river basins around the world. As an example of cross-border governance, RBOs can promote joint cooperation and information sharing, and serve as a form to bring together diverse stakeholders. This paper focuses on the discursive construction of ‘security’ in a particular context of cross-border river basin governance in the Mekong River Basin. We ask: How is security framed in the discourse of RBOs? We examine how diverse actors frame security in the context of RBOs and at various scales and around certain management actions in a case study of the Mekong River Commission, a well-established RBO. Attention will be paid to the links between water security, food security, and energy security in the broader water and development discourse. We analyze what the findings mean for cross-border governance more broadly.

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Keywords RBOs, development discourse, frames, Mekong, security, water governance
ISBN 978-0-8153-8598-1
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Gerlak, A., & Mukhtarov, F. (2018). Many Faces of Security: Discursive Framing in Cross-border Natural Resource Governance in the Mekong River Commission. In Environmental Security in Transnational Contexts: What Relevance for Regional Human Security Regimes?. Retrieved from