Next Article in Journal
Characteristics of Heavy Storms and the Scaling Relation with Air Temperature by Event Process-Based Analysis in South China
Next Article in Special Issue
Anishinabek Women’s Nibi Giikendaaswin (Water Knowledge)
Previous Article in Journal
Effects of Ionic Components of Saline Water on Irrigated Sunflower Physiology
Previous Article in Special Issue
Disputing the ‘National Interest’: The Depoliticization and Repoliticization of the Belo Monte Dam, Brazil
Open AccessArticle

Ebbs and Flows of Authority: Decentralization, Development and the Hydrosocial Cycle in Lesotho

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Water 2019, 11(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020184
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 20 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance: Retheorizing Politics)
Dominant development discourse holds that water scarcity reflects geophysical limitations, lack of infrastructure or lack of government provision. However, this paper outlines the ways in which scarcity can only be fully explained in the context of development, specifically, neoliberal economic policies and related notions of good governance. Water is Lesotho’s primary natural resource, yet many of its inhabitants remain severely water insecure. Presently, decentralization and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) are embraced in Lesotho as a philosophy and method to engage varied stakeholders and to empower community members. Using a water committee in Qalo, Lesotho as a case study, this paper explores the micro-politics of water governance. As individuals contest who is responsible for managing water resources for the village—by aligning themselves with traditional chiefs, elected officials, or neither—they transform or reinforce specific hydro-social configurations. While decentralized resource management aims to increase equity and local ownership over resources, as well as moderate the authority of traditional chiefs, water access is instead impacted by conflicts over management responsibility for water resources. Drawing on theories of political ecology and governmentality to extend recent scholarship on IWRM, this paper re-centers the political in water governance by situating local tensions within national policies and development agendas and demonstrating how scarcity is hydro-social. View Full-Text
Keywords: international development; decentralization; political ecology; integrated water resource management (IWRM); Lesotho; Africa international development; decentralization; political ecology; integrated water resource management (IWRM); Lesotho; Africa
MDPI and ACS Style

Workman, C.L. Ebbs and Flows of Authority: Decentralization, Development and the Hydrosocial Cycle in Lesotho. Water 2019, 11, 184.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop