Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Ehsan Nabavi

Ehsan Nabavi

ehsan_nabavi (at)

Ehsan Nabavi is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University. Ehsan Nabavi was a Visiting Research Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2016-17. His research focuses on understanding water conflict formation, evolution, and transformation against the backdrop of Anthropocene, particularly in the Middle East and the Central Asia.

His research interests span three broad areas: water resources system sustainability and governance; STS with a particular interest in Actor-Network Theory (ANT); and conflict theories. The underlying motivation for his research concerns examining and understanding ‘water conflict construction’ as the interface of his research interest areas.

He is looking at how problem and solution framings of different parties in a conflict are co-produced and influenced by social-cultural, and political factors; and, in what ways they feedback into society. This collectively imagined form of ‘conflict order’ held by different parties—which stems from a particular understanding and insight into water and conflict—is the domain that he is currently interested in exploring.

By conceptualizing ‘imaginaries of sustainabilities’, his research attempts to engage directly with the ways in which society’s hopes and desires for the future—including their ‘position’, and ‘interest’ about how things should be—locked in the existing ‘historical’ narratives, political mottos, engineering products (models, infrastructures, etc.), and laws.

Prior to joining the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University (ANU) as a PhD scholar, he has completed his Master in Civil Engineering- water resource systems at Isfahan University of Technology in 2011. In 2015 he was also a visiting scholar at Centre for Water and Development, School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) at University of London and Center for Development Research (ZEF) at University of Bonn.


  • Nabavi, Ehsan, Katherine A. Daniell, and Husain Najafi. “Boundary matters: the potential of system dynamics to support sustainability?.” Journal of Cleaner Production (2016).
  • Nabavi, Ehsan, and Katherine A. Daniell. “Rediscovering Social-Ecological Systems: Taking inspiration from Actor-Networks” Journal of Sustainability Science (2016) In press.
  • Daniell, K., Nabavi,E. Benham, C. “Politics of innovation and the spirit of justice”, Researching Environmental Justice in Australia: How Can We Manage Nature More Fairly, In Anna Lukasiewicz (Eds.), CSIRO publishing (forthcoming 2016)
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