The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles

The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles  Edited by Farhana Sultana and Alex Loftus



















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.


Table of Contents:

Foreword – Maude Barlow

01. The Right to Water: Possibilities and Prospects Farhana Sultana and Alex Loftus

02. The ‘Commons’ Versus the ‘Commodity’: Alter -globalization, Anti-privatization and the Human Right to Water in the Global South – Karen Bakker

03. The Human Right to What? Water, Rights, Humans and the Relation of Things Jamie Linton

04. A Right to Water? Geographico-legal Perspectives – Chad Staddon, Tom Appleby and Evadne Grant

05. The Political Economy of the Right to Water: Reinvigorating the Question of Property – Kyle Mitchell

06. Scarce or insecure? The Right to Water and the Ethics of Global Water Governance – Jeremy Schmidt

07. The Right to Water as the Right to Identity: Legal Struggles of Indigenous Peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand – Jacinta Ruru

08. Legal Protection of the Right to Water in the European Union – Marleen van Rijswick and Andrea Keessen

09. Rights, Citizenship and Territory: Water Politics in the West Bank – Iliaria Giglioli

10. Water Rights and Wrongs: Illegality and Informal Use in Mexico and the U.S. – Katharine Meehan

11. The Centrality of Community Participation to the Realization of the Right to Water: The Illustrative Case of South Africa – Cristy Clark

12. The Right to the City and the Eco-Social Commoning of Water: Discursive and Political Lessons from South Africa – Patrick Bond

13. Anti-Privatization Struggles and the Right to Water in India: Engendering Cultures of Opposition – Krista Bywater

14. Seeing through the Concept of Water as a Human Right in Bolivia – Rocio Bustamante, Carlos Crespo and Anna Maria Walnycki

15. From Cochabamba to Colombia: Travelling Repertoires in Latin American Water Struggles – Verónica Perera


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