• river basin management;
  • literature review;
  • economic issues;
  • policy aspects;
  • basin institutions

[1] The literature on river basin management is growing with an expanding coverage of issues and basins and an increasing refinement of approaches and methods. Still, many old questions remain unresolved, while new concerns are emerging, especially on the economic, managerial, and policy dimensions of river basin management. This special section brings together a set of papers that addresses some of these issues in the context of different basins around the world by adopting varying perspectives and approaches. This introductory paper prepares the stage and context for the special section with a brief review of existing literature and a quick overview of the papers included in the special section. Since the review indicates the major focus and coverage as well as the weak spots and gaps in present research, it provides context both to gauge the significance of the selected papers and to indicate the key areas requiring attention in future research on the subject of river basin management.