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Burag Gurden

Burag Gurden


Burag is a GCRF-funded PhD candidate at Durham University’s Geography Department. Prior to joining Durham University, he received a BA in Economics (2015) from Bogazici University in Turkey, and after that, he completed an MSc in International Development and Management (2018) at Lund University in Sweden.


Department of Geography

PhD Project

Governing the Energy-Water Nexus: Sustainable resource governance for development in Turkey — (2019-2022 GCRF Project)

This interdisciplinary PhD project analyses opportunities to advance sustainable resource governance at the energy-water nexus in Turkey. It focuses empirically on Turkey’s pursuit of high carbon (coal) and low-carbon (geothermal) energy development as part of the country’s ambitious ‘Vision 2023’ programme, and examines the implications of these parallel energy pathways for the management of surface and groundwater resources.

Conceptually the project takes forward two allied developments in research on natural resources and sustainability: critical approaches to ‘nexus thinking’ which focus on the multiple interdependencies among vital sectors of resource provisioning, such as water and energy; and efforts to ‘do environmental governance differently’ that seek to transform the politics of resource governance by co-producing environmental knowledge with a broad range of stakeholders. To date, the energy-water nexus has been understood largely as a technical agenda. An interdisciplinary perspective, however, re-frames the energy-water nexus as a problem of resource governance: key questions concern the appropriate direction (i.e. end goals) of resource management, the distribution of risks and benefits from developing energy and water resources, and the diversity of participation in decision-making. Addressing these dimensions of resource governance is central to furthering the sustainable development and welfare of developing countries.

This project generates new knowledge on governing the energy-water nexus by bringing together specific expertise from the social sciences (Human Geography) and physical sciences (Earth Sciences and Engineering); and by designing the research to engage a wide range of stakeholders. Its scientific outcomes will contribute to the implementation of SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) in Turkey.



Research Interests

His research interests lie in sustainable development, natural resource management and in particular sustainability and governance of water and energy.

Supervisory Team

Prof Gavin Bridge (Department of Geography)

Dr Charlotte Adams (Department of Earth Sciences)

Prof Begüm Özkaynak (Bogazici University Turkey, Department of Economics)

Professor Ali Kerem Saysel (The Institute of Environmental Sciences , Turkey)

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Read our Durham Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training Brochure:
Brochure DU GCRF-CDT 

In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030. These sustainable development goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. All of the Durham Global Challenges – CDT projects are linked to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to work together to build a better future for everyone.

The Durham GCRF-CDT students focused on productive writing at Dove Marine (Newcastle University) on the coast of Cullercoats. They used their time to prepare for their Formal Progression Review. This requires the students to submit for assessment a substantive piece of work as defined by their departments. The structured programme included a break with an outdoor activity.

A member of the Durham Centre for Academic Development facilitated the event for the CDT.

The Durham Global Challenges CDT Trip 2019

On 1st July 2019 the Durham Global Challenges-CDT organised a trip to the Angel of the North, Bamburgh, Seahouses and the Farne Islands. The trip offered a unique cultural learning experience of English heritage in North East England and provided an opportunity to network and socialise with the cohort.

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The video visualizes the yield comparison of rice production after flooding in rice fields, to the left IR64 including sub1, to the right IR64 without sub1

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