Hydropolitical Analysis: Situational and Positional Mapping


This document lays out the thought process so far regarding one of the main outputs of the research i.e. the hydropolitical map for Zambia. The hydropolitical map provides insights into the different actors and actants in the Zambian water sector, the field the actors relate in and their various interactions. The document details the mapping process and utilising three different types of maps that culminate into the hydropolitical map. These are the situational map, positional maps and social arena maps. The first two maps are elaborated on in separate sections of this document and the last map is detailed in a separate document.

During the mapping stages especially in the creation of the situational and positional maps it was noted that some actors and actors have variable levels of influence or recognition at the national and local scale. The national scale is where Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping may be more beneficial. The potential contribution of the GIS is expanded on in the section of the hydropolitical map.

The mapping process began with the situational map, laying out all the actors and actants in the Zambian water sector. The positional map was then developed using the actors in the situational map. The positional map highlights the positions taken over identified discursive elements. The information from the positional map and the situational map was used to explore some of the silences in the Zambian water sector. The silences do not only cover silent actors or voices but also silent relationships between actors and actants. The silent relationships were extrapolated from the relationship paragraphs that are included in this document following the situational map.

The document concludes with some emerging themes from the situational and positional maps. These emerging themes are distilled from the research so far and constitute some dominant themes in the Zambian water sector. The listed themes are in no way exhaustive but illustrate possible themes to explore in the later stage of the research project.


Chileshe, P. Hydropolitical Analysis: Situational and Positional Mapping. (2006) 44 pp.

Hydropolitical Analysis: Situational and Positional Mapping

Published 1 January 2006