Special Issue "Water Governance: Retheorizing Politics"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: environmental studies; social justice; gender; geography; water politics and governance; Turkey; Africa; Canada, participatory engagement, environmental justice
Interests: water governance; water access; agriculture; rural livelihoods; mixed methodology; social justice; South Asia; East Asia
Interests: community-based monitoring; critical indigenous studies; environmental change, indigenous water governance, community-based research methodologies; water governance; arctic and sub-arctic
Interests: Indigenous water governance, urban Indigenous studies, Indigenous research methodologies, community based participatory research
Water Governance refers to “The range of political, organizational and administrative processes through which communities articulate their interests, their input is absorbed, decisions are made and implemented, and decision makers are held accountable in the development and management of water resources and delivery of water services” (Bakker 2003, p. 4).
Calls for good governance “help conceal the political and economic interests that lie behind the institutional arrangements, social relations, material practices and scalar configurations involved. If we are to employ this concept, then it is imperative we do so critically, carefully elucidating the political nature inherent in the institutional arrangements and socio-environmental relationships to which it refers” (Perreault 2014, p. 236).
While definitions of water governance vary, it is common for definitions to refer to the underlying institutional processes that shape how water uses, rights, and allocations are decided. The Global Water Partnership (GWP) defines water governance as “the range of political, social, economic and administrative systems that are in place to develop and manage water resources, and the delivery of water services, at different levels of society” (Rogers and Hall 2003, p. 7). With such definitions, there is at times insufficient attention to diverse actors, or movements that aim to frame, contest, and challenge particular water management or delivery frameworks. As such, although “politics” is often understood to be among the key forces guiding water-related decision-making processes, analyses that do not explicitly attend to such considerations --too often de-centering the ‘political.’ As well common orientations to solutions or appropriate technologies also often fail to engage directly with issues of justice, equity and power—considerations that might be more evident when we definitions such as those offered by scholars like Perreault and Bakker, above.
Our aim with this special issue is to highlight recent and emergent concepts and approaches to water governance that re-center the political in relation to water related decision-making, uses, and management. To do so is at once to focus on diverse ontologies, meanings and values of water, and related contestations regarding its use, or its importance for livelihoods, identity, or place-making. Building on insights from science and technology studies, or feminist and postcolonial approaches, we also aim to engage broadly with the ways that water related decision making is often depoliticized, and evacuated of political content or meaning—and to what effect.
This special issue invites engagement and (re)theorizations with the political in relation to water governance frameworks and decision-making processes. To do so, we are especially interested in work informed by political ecology, cultural politics, hydrosocial and hydropolitical approaches, environmental justice, hydrocitizenship, infrapolitics, political-economies of water, and water-related governmentalities. Key themes that would be especially welcome include work on:
- Ecological politics, and political ecologies/economies of water governance.
- Politics of environmental and social injustice and water governance (e.g. gender, race, class, sexuality).
- Participatory politics, hydrocitizenship, and politics of ‘good’ governance.
- Techno and infra-politics, including North-South technology and knowledge transfers.
- Colonial politics and Indigenous water governance, or politics of Indigeneity
- Politics of the human right to water and associated struggles, including cross-scalar analyses and linkages in connection.
- Cultural and ontological politics and water values/politics of valuing water.
- Politics of water insecurity, informality, public water, and of bottled/tanker water.
Contributions should advance theoretical, conceptual and empirical dimensions of politics critical to bring new insights to water governance practices and debates.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 August 2018
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018
- Bakker, K. Good Governance in Restructuring Water Supply: A Handbook. Federation of Canadian Municipalities: Ottawa, Canada. 2003.
- Perreault, T. What kind of governance for what kind of equity? Towards a theorization of justice in water governance. Water Int. 2014, 39, 233–245.
- Rogers, P., Hall, A.W. Effective Water Governance: Learning from the Dialogues. Global Water Partnership: Stockholm, Sweden, 2003.
Prof. Leila M. Harris
Mr. Sameer H. Shah
Dr. Nicole Wilson
Ms. Joanne Nelson
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- water governance
- water related struggle
- decision-making processes