Scott McKenzie

Research interests: Water governance, water law, human right to water, science-policy interface.

Biography: Scott is a PhD student in Resource Management and Environmental Studies working under the supervision of Dr. Leila Harris.  Before UBC, Scott completed a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and American Studies at the University of Kansas and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa.  Scott’s research and writing focuses how contending notions of scale and regulation affect water policy (within the water-energy-food nexus). His work considers the relationship between the natural environment, human development, and law.  He has also worked as a development agent for the United States Peace Corps in Morocco, in the Cairo office of the Near East Foundation, as a private practice lawyer in New Orleans, and at the International Water Resources Association in Montpellier France.

At UBC Scott is a member of the EDGES research collaborative and the Program on Water Governance. Scott’s research will be involved with Experience of Shifting Water Governance: Comparative Study of Water Access, Narrative and Citizenship in Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa.  This collaborative comparative research project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and will focus on differing relationship between citizens in under served areas in Ghana and South Africa, their provision of water, and how they access and interact with the state to mediate this relationship.



McKenzie, S. (2014) “Laurentian and African Great Lakes; Differing Strategies in the Fight Against Exotic Species.” Indiana International & Comparative Law Review 24(1): 93.

McKenzie, S. (2013) “A River Runs Through It: The Future of the Columbia River Treaty, Development, and Water Rights.” Georgia State University Law Review 29(4): 921.

McKenzie, S. (2012) “Egypt’s Choice: International Water Law and the Nile River Cooperative Framework Agreement.” Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems, 21(2): 571.


McKenzie, S. (2015, in press) Ecology: Water Governances Missing Link. In Triangulating Property Rights: Governing Access to Essential Goods, eds. Olivier De Schutter and Katharina Pistor (New York, NY: Columbia University Press).

McKenzie, S. (2015, in press) Yakya Axa v. Paraguay: Upholding and Framing the Human Right to Water. In The Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Theory and Practice, Present and Future (pp. 239-255). (Cambridge, UK: Intersentia)

McKenzie, S. (2013) Maritime Security: Does Controlling Piracy And Other Criminal Activities Require Systematic State Interventions? In Controversies in Globalization: Contending Approaches to International Relations, ed. Peter M. Haas, John A. Hird (Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press). pp. 219.


McKenzie, S., Brownson, K., Soo, T. (2014) “The Science-Policy Interface, Water Governance Institutions, and Climate Change.” Office National de l’Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques, Paris, France.


McKenzie, S. “The Human Right to Water–Progress and Challenges for International Law and State Water Governance,” Opinio Juris (Emerging Voices – 2015 symposium) August 4, 2015.

Klassen, S., Guerra, J., Chan, K., Sharp, K., McKenzie, S.  “Bees won’t survive, and neither will we, unless we do this.” National Observer (Canada), June 15, 2015.

McKenzie, S. review of Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States, and Indigenous Communities by Emma Norman, American Association of Geographers Review of Books, online, (in press).

McKenzie, S. review of Freshwater Access from a Human Rights Perspective by Knut Bourquain, Global Law Books, online, (submitted).

McKenzie, S. review of Improving International Investment Agreements by Armand de Mestral (Ed.), Human Rights Review, (forthcoming).

McKenzie, S. review of Shored Up (film) by Ben Kalina, Global Policy Journal, online, March 3, 2015.

McKenzie, S. review of Glacial Balance (film) by Ethan Steinman, Global Policy Journal, online, November 28, 2014.

McKenzie, S. review of Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons by Burns H. Weston and David Bollier, Global Policy Journal, online, September 8, 2014.

McKenzie, S. review of Water by David Lewis Feldman, Global Policy Journal, online, March 27, 2014.

McKenzie, S. review of Shattered Sky (film) by Steve Dorst, Global Policy Journal, online, February 24, 2014.

McKenzie, S. review of The Governance of Climate Change: Science, Economics and Ethics by David Held, Angus Hervey, and Marika Theros (Eds.), Global Policy Journal, online, January 10, 2014.

McKenzie, S. review of Development without Destruction: The UN and Global Resource Management by Nico Schrijver, Global Policy Journal, online, January 3, 2014.

McKenzie, S. “International Water Law – Preventing Conflict on the Nile,” Opinio Juris (Emerging Voices – 2013 symposium) July 16, 2013.

McKenzie, S. review of Global Energy Governance: The New Rules of the Game by Andreas Goldthau and Jan Martin Witte (Eds.), Global Policy Journal 2(1): 239, 2011.


  • Opinio Juris Emerging Voice (2015)
  • D. Howe Graduate Fellowship in Public Policy (2015)
  • Walter W Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship in Water Resources (2015)

Contact: scott.obrien.mckenzie (@)

Twitter @scottmckenzie80