Centre for Water and Development

Professor James Nickum

You are viewing: Key information

Key information

Centre for Water and Development Professorial Research Associate
Email address


James E. Nickum, a resident of Japan with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California (Berkeley), is currently Fellow of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Water International since 2007. He is a widely published institutional economist specializing in various facets of water and environmental governance, especially but not exclusively in China, which he visited for the first time in 1974.  His current research interests are on  the water economies of global cities and the implications of populism and new technologies on water governance.

  1. Patricia Wouters, Huiping Chen and James E. Nickum, eds., Transboundary Water Cooperation: Principles, Practice and Prospects for China and its Neighbours.  London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
  2. Jia Shaofeng, Zhang Liheng, Cao Yue, Yan Huayun, Li Jianping and James Nickum, eds. Zhongguo shuiquan jinxingshi: Geermu anli jianjiu (When water rights are implemented in China: The case of Golmud). (Beijing: Shuili shuidian chubanshe, 2012). 151 pp.
  3. James E. Nickum and Chisa Ogura, Agricultural Water Pricing: Japan and Korea, background report supporting the OECD Study, Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Agriculture, available at http://www.oecd.org/document/55/0,3343,en_2649_37401_44753399_1_1_1_1,00.html#obtain as of 16 March 2010.  34 pp.
  4. Ken-Ichi Abe and James E. Nickum, eds., Good Earths: Regional and Historical Insights into China’s Environment.  (Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, and Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2009). 292 pp.
  5. James E. Nickum and Kenji Oya, eds., Environmental Management, Poverty Reduction, and Sustainable Regional Development.  New Regional Development Paradigms series, Volume 4. (New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001). 191 pp.
  6. James E. Nickum, Dam Lies and Other Statistics: Taking the Measure of Irrigation in China, 1931-91. (East-West Center Occasional Papers: Environment Series No. 18, January 1995). 149 pp.
  7. James E. Nickum and K. William Easter, eds., Metropolitan Water Use Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific (Boulder:  Westview Press, 1994), 211 pp.
  8. Asit Biswas, Zuo Dakang, James E. Nickum and Liu Changming, eds., Long Distance Water Transfer in China (Dublin: Tycooly International, 1983), 417 pp. Chinese edition: Zuo Dakang, Asit Biswas, Liu Changming and James E. Nickum, eds., Yuan juli diaoshui (Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe, 1983), 241 pp.
  9. James E. Nickum, Water Management Organization in the People's Republic of China  (Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1981) (editor), 269 pp.
  10. Henning Bjornlund, James E. Nickum and Raya Marina Stephan, eds., Wicked Problems of Water Quality Governance.  Special Issue of Water International 43(3), April 2018, 159 pp.
  11. Aziza Akhmouch, Delphine Clavreul, Sarah Hendry, Sharon B. Megdal, James E. Nickum, Francisco Nunes-Correia and Andrew Ross, eds., The OECD Principles on Water Governance: from Policy Standards to Practice.  Special Issue of Water International, 43(1), January 2018, 132 pp
  12. James E. Nickum, Cecilia Tortajada and Philippus Wester, eds., Putting Practice into Theory.  Special Issue of Water International, 41(7), November 2016, 107pp.
  13. David B. Brooks, James E. Nickum, Anthony Turton and Surina Esterhuyse, eds., Out of Mines, Out of Site: The Water Legacies of Conventional Mining.  Special Issue of Water International, 41(3), May 2016, 176 pp.
  14. James E. Nickum, Midori Aoyagi-Usui, Yok-shiu Lee, Shuzo Nishioka and Terry Rambo eds., Special Issue of The Asian Geographer on Asia-Pacific Ecoconsciousness, 18, Nos. 1 and 2, 1999, 153 pp.
  15. James E. Nickum, ed., Regional Development Dialogue, 12, Winter 1991.  Special Issue on Water Use Conflicts in Asian-Pacific Metropolises (editor), 181 pp.
  16. James E. Nickum. “Water Management.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies. Ed. Tim Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 14 April 2019. doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199920082-0174
  17. James E. Nickum, Jia Shaofeng and Scott Moore, “Red Lines and China’s Water Resources Policy in the Twenty-first Century,” Ch. 6 in Eva Sternfeld, ed., Routledge Handbook on China’s Environmental Policy (London: Routledge Earthscan, 2017), pp 71-82. 
  18. James E. Nickum and Peter P. Mollinga, “Different Asias, Same Problems: Negotiating the State-User Interface in Surface Irrigation in China and India,” Water Policy, 18(S1), December 2016, pp. 83-102.  [1]
  19. Frederick Lee, Veena Aggarwal and James Nickum, “Urban Domestic Water Pricing in India and China,” special issue of Water Policy, 18(S1), December 2016, pp. 68-82  [2]
  20. James E. Nickum, “Exploring the Boundaries of Water Quality Management in Asia,” International Journal of Water Resources Development, 28(2), June 2012, pp. 233-245. 
  21. James E. Nickum, “Officials’ Office and Dense Clouds: The Large Dams that Command Beijing’s Heights,” in Cecilia Tortajada, Dogan Altinbilek and Asit K. Biswas, eds., Impacts of Large Dams (Berlin: Springer, 2012), pp. 243-257. 
  22. Myles Fisher,  Simon Cook, Tassilo Tiemann, and James E. Nickum, “Institutions and Organizations: The Key to Sustainable Management of Resources in River Basins,”  Water International, 36(7), November 2011, pp.846-860.
  23. James E. Nickum, “Prospects for Environmentally-Induced Migration in Northeast Asia,” in Antonio Marquina ed, Perspectives on Migration Flows in Asia and Europe (Singapore: Asia-Europe Foundation, 2011), pp. 263-282.
  24. James E. Nickum, “Water Policy Reform in China’s Fragmented Hydraulic State: Focus on Self-Funded/Managed Irrigation and Drainage Districts,” Water Alternatives, 3(3), October 2010, pp. 537-551.
  25. James E. Nickum, “Hydraulic Pressures:  Into the Age of Water Scarcity?” Foreign Affairs, 89(5), September-October 2010, pp. 130-137.
  26. James E. Nickum, “The Upstream Superpower: China’s International Rivers,” in Olli Varis, Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas, eds., Management of Transboundary Rivers and Lakes (Berlin: Springer, 2008), pp. 227-242. 
  27. Gao Jixi, James E. Nickum and Pan Yingzi, “A V Vulnerability Assessment of Flood Hazards in the Dongting Lake Region of China,” Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management, 12(2), March 2007, pp. 27-34. 
  28. James E. Nickum and Yok-shiu F. Lee, “Same Longitude, Different Latitudes: Institutional Change in Urban Water in China, North and South,” Environmental Politics, 15(2), April 2006, pp. 231-247. Reprinted in Neil T. Carter and Arthur P. J. Mol, eds., Environmental Governance in China (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 83-99. 
  29. James E. Nickum, " Uphill Flow of Reform in China's Irrigation Districts," in Chennat Gopalakrishnan, Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas, eds., Water Institutions: Structure, Performance and Prospects (Berlin: Springer, 2005), pp. 81-98.
  30. S. Ayub Qutub, A.R. Saleemi, M.S. Reddy, N.V.V. Char, Dipak Gyawali, K.B. Sajjadur Rasheed, and James E. Nickum, “Water Sharing Conflicts within Countries, and Possible Solutions,” Section I of Toufiq A. Siddiqi and Shirin Tahir-Kheli, coordinators and editors, Water Conflicts in South Asia (Honolulu: GEE-21, August 2004).
  31. James E. Nickum,  “Water and Regional Development in the Yellow River Basin,” in Cecilia Tortajada, Olcay Unver and Asit K. Biswas, eds., Water and Regional Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 114-136.
  32. James E. Nickum, “Water and Sustainability in Asian Megalopolises: The case of Beijing,” in Human Settlement Development, edited by Saskia Sassen, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), developed under the auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, [http://www.eolss.net], 2003.
  33. James E. Nickum,  “Irrigated Area Figures as Bureaucratic Construction of Knowledge: The Case of China,” International Journal of Water Resources Development, 19(2), June 2003, pp.  249-262.
  34. James E. Nickum,  “Broken Eggs in the Market: The Rise of Inequality in China,” Review Article of Carl Riskin et al., China’s Retreat from Equality and Azizur Rahman Khan and Carl Riskin, Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization.  The China Journal, No. 49, January 2003, pp. 119-126.
  35. Syed Ayub Qutub and James E. Nickum, “Civil Society and Water Management in the Indus Basin,” Regional Development Dialogue, 23, Spring 2002, pp. 109-118.
  36. James E. Nickum, “After the Dam Age Is Done: Social Capital and Eco-Partnerships in Urban Watersheds: with Focus on the Lake Biwa-Yodo River Basin,” in Takashi Inoguchi, Edward Newman, and Glen Paoletto, eds., Cities and the Environment: New Approaches for Eco-Societies (Tokyo: UNU Press, 1999), pp. 140-160.
  37. James E. Nickum, “Is China Living on the Water Margin?” The China Quarterly, No. 156, December 1998, pp. 156-174. Excerpted in Summer 1999 Wilson Quarterly. Reprinted in Richard Louis Edmonds, ed., Managing the Chinese Environment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 156-174.
  38. James E. Nickum and Daniel Greenstadt, “Transacting a Commons: The Lake Biwa Comprehensive Development Plan,” in John Donahue and Barbara Johnston, eds., Water, Culture and Power: Local Struggles in a Global Context (Washington DC: Island Press, 1998), pp. 141-161.
  39. James E. Nickum and K. William Easter, "Institutional Arrangements for Managing Water Conflicts in Lake Basins," Natural Resources Forum, 14, August 1990, pp. 210-221.
  40. James E. Nickum, "All Is Not Wells In North China: A Shandong Case Study," in Gerald T. O'Mara, ed., Efficiency in Irrigation (Washington DC: The World Bank, 1988), pp. 87-94.
  41. James E. Nickum, "Surplus Transfer and Economic Development in Taiwan and Shanghai," Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 12, April-June 1980, pp. 39-43. Reprinted in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, ed., China from Mao to Deng (Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1983), pp. 72-76.
  42. James E. Nickum, "The Organisation of Water Resource Development in the People's Republic of China," Agricultural Administration, 6, July 1979, pp. 169-186.
  43. James E. Nickum and David C. Schak, "Living Standards and Development Patterns in Taiwan and Shanghai," The China Quarterly, No. 77, March 1979, pp. 25-49.44. 
  44. James E. Nickum, "Labour Accumulation in Rural China and Its Role Since the Cultural Revolution," Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2, September 1978, pp. 273-286. 
  45. James E. Nickum, "Farmland Capital Construction:  Landscaping China," Contemporary China, 1, January 1977, pp. 19-23.
  46. James E. Nickum, "Local Irrigation Management Organization in the People's Republic of China," The China Geographer, No. 5, Fall 1976, pp. 1-12.  Reprinted in E. Walter Coward, Jr., ed., Irrigation and Agricultural Development in Asia (Ithaca NY: Cornell UP, 1980), pp. 289-298.

Contact James