No longer "bullying the Rhine": Giving narrative a place in flood management

Ken Baake, Charlotte Kaempf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper we explore whether today multiple sources of reasoning are being considered in the discourse of flood management. We examine whether stakeholders are considered and served as an audience of partners in managing rivers. To this end, we reviewed sources of reasoning that people living in river basins use for handling floods and mitigating flood risk. We focus on texts dealing with lowland flooding, taking as an example the Rhine River in historical times and in the present. Our review of river management documentation revealed that the scheme that guides engineers', policy makers', and administrators' actions toward rivers is shifting from correcting rivers toward accommodating their needs for flood plains - while still controlling the rivers. In current European river management reports we found elements of narrative side by side with formal scientific fact reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-446
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Cross-Sectoral Discourse
  • Flood-Resilience
  • Local Stories
  • Narrative Rationality
  • River Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'No longer "bullying the Rhine": Giving narrative a place in flood management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this