Politics of Rights to Water

By Mangala Subramaniam, Editorial Board member for Gender & Society

Co-editing a special issue of the ‘Dialogues’ section in the 2015 December issue  (3/4) of the journal, Politics, Groups, and Identities (PGI), my co-editor and I discuss issues of environmental justice which includes water. Flint waterStruggle over water wealth throughout history has been central to changes in societal habitats and the quality of ordinary lives. For example, water riots, bombings, and many deaths occurred from 1995-2005 in various conflicts over water in Asia, South America, and Africa.

To make sense of the water crisis, scholars and policy makers have considered the role of the government in promoting privatization directly or indirectly, the economic costs and benefits of promoting efficient systems of managing water use and allocation, and the role of the community that represent race and class differences in negotiating and resisting privatization of water resources that are largely perceived by them (the community) as common property resources (see Current Sociology, Feb 25, 2014). The reliance on bottled water to meet the demand for safe water is not a new phenomenon. This too involves a privatized effort to utilize water in countries where there is limited regulation on accessing and bottling water profitably. Continue reading “Politics of Rights to Water”