The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles

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Farhana Sultana, Alex Loftus
Routledge, Oct 18, 2013 - Technology & Engineering - 270 pages

The right to clean water has been adopted by the United Nations as a basic human right. Yet how such universal calls for a right to water are understood, negotiated, experienced and struggled over remain key challenges. The Right to Water elucidates how universal calls for rights articulate with local historical geographical contexts, governance, politics and social struggles, thereby highlighting the challenges and the possibilities that exist. Bringing together a unique range of academics, policy-makers and activists, the book analyzes how struggles for the right to water have attempted to translate moral arguments over access to safe water into workable claims. This book is an intervention at a crucial moment into the shape and future direction of struggles for the right to water in a range of political, geographic and socio-economics contexts, seeking to be pro-active in defining what this struggle could mean and how it might be taken forward in a far broader transformative politics.

The Right to Water engages with a range of approaches that focus on philosophical, legal and governance perspectives before seeking to apply these more abstract arguments to an array of concrete struggles and case studies. In so doing, the book builds on empirical examples from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and the European Union.

 

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Contents

1 prospects and possibilities
1
debating the human right to water
19
3 The human right to what? Water rights humans and the relation of things
45
4 A right to water? Geographicolegal perspectives
61
reinvigorating the question of property
78
6 Scarce or insecure? The right to water and the ethics of global water governance
94
legal struggles of indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand
110
8 Legal protection of the right to water in the European Union
123
illegality and informal use in Mexico and the US
159
the illustrative case of South Africa
174
discursive and political lessons from South Africa
190
engendering cultures of opposition
206
14 Seeing through the concept of water as a human right in Bolivia
223
travelling repertoires in Latin American water struggles
241
Index
257
Copyright

water politics in the West Bank
139

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About the author (2013)

Farhana Sultana is Assistant Professor of Geography at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, USA. Her research interests and publications are in water governance, political ecology, gender and development. Combining insights and experiences in and outside academia, she engages in critical interdisciplinary research on water in the global South.

Alex Loftus is Lecturer in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. His research focuses on the political ecology of water and the political possibilities within urban ecologies. He is the author of Everyday Environmentalism: Creating an Urban Political Ecology (University of Minnesota Press).

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