Water, the commons and rights

The paper I co-wrote with Kyle Mitchell has now officially come out in the Review of Radical Political Economics. If you want a copy, feel free to email me (contact info is on the “about” page at the bottom).

The paper emerged out of conversations Kyle and I had while we wrote our respective chapters for the book, The human right to water: politics, governance and social struggles, edited by Sultana and Loftus. In general, we were both interested in how human rights are often (and increasingly) taken up or interpreted in terms compatible with property rights. In some cases this is explicit, as in the World Economic Forum’s book on water security.

On the other hand, we were curious as to how appeals to the “commons” variously fit with, or confront, different struggles for and against the articulation of human rights with the broader political economy of property rights. So what we do in this paper is identify the assumptions of political economy and certain representations of the ‘commons’ and show how we can parse these out from versions of the ‘commons’ that are used to confront linkages between human and property rights.

To do so, we draw on Charles Taylor’s great article “Cross-purposes” and and how different moral goods align (or not) with different commitments to political advocacy.

All responses are very welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: