On the occasion of world water day, this opinion piece critically reflects on the recent resurgence of the “water wars” narrative in policy and media circles and questions its timing, purpose and the evidence on which it is based. There is a recent and worrying trend towards a renewed “water wars” narrative in some policy … Continue reading Why are water wars back on the agenda? And why we think it’s a bad idea!
By Emanuele Fantini, Filippo Menga and Ana Elisa Cascão Tensions escalated recently between Ethiopia and Egypt around the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In this controversy, the media is not only the space where the conflict publicly unfolds, but also one of the main players in shaping it. A few months ago, … Continue reading A conversation about Gramsci on the Nile
by Joe Williams The water-energy-food nexus has become a powerful framework for sustainable development that seeks to integrate the management of resource sectors for increased efficiency. However, its current mobilisation is fundamentally de-politicising, overlooking the contradictions and injustices of resource governance The water, energy and food sectors are, of course, deeply connected. Agriculture accounts for … Continue reading Sustainable integration? Nexus thinking and the foreclosure of progressive eco-politics
By Jevgeniy Bluwstein and Rebecca Rutt* The Flint Water Crisis led to different forms of grassroots activism demanding political accountability, transparency and redress. Yet residents’ experiences, and their needs and demands in response to the crisis, were and continue to be suppressed in multiple ways. Since 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan, has been at … Continue reading The Flint Water Crisis: quests for justice and mechanisms of suppression
By Patrick Bresnihan * Throughout the globe a revolution is taking place as people organise to resist the privatisation of water. In a spirit of shared struggle against privatisation (in its many forms), on 23rd June a day-long 'Thinkery' at the University College Cork, Ireland, will explore differences in approach and attitude in anti-privatisation struggles … Continue reading Thinkery on water, anti-privatization struggles and the commons
By Stefania Barca* Like all history writing—and much of science-making itself—environmental history cannot help but be political. Stefania Barca reflects on the political implications of what environmental historians do. “Only mass social movements can save us now.” Naomi Klein makes this point in This Changes Everything, and I couldn’t agree more. Since their emergence in … Continue reading On ‘the Political’ in Environmental History
By Jan Selby* A new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority gives Israel carte blanche to expand water provision for illegal settlements. 15 January, on the very same day that diplomats from 70 countries were meeting in Paris to reaffirm their support for the two-state solution, Israeli and Palestinian officials announced that they were … Continue reading Renewing cooperation on water: what hope for the two-state solution?
A diverse range of social and environmental collectives have come together in the past few years in Barcelona to form the Alliance Against Energy Poverty, successfully mobilising and fighting to stop energy and water cuts for families unable to pay their bills.* Household access to energy and water remains an urgent issue for well over … Continue reading Energy struggles: combating energy poverty in Catalonia
The socio-political nature of disease can be silenced, especially when there is a lack of strong civil society networks and/or scientific data to help reclaim public health. Relevant and effective responses to disease can only emerge with the involvement of people whose health is at stake and through contextualised, historicised and politicised health studies. * … Continue reading Deconstructing public health: a case from the Mekong Delta
Hydropower projects, disguised and depoliticized as green and sustainable, are being imposed as a development solution across the Himalayas. The dam conflicts presented here illustrate how civil society groups have become political actors, rising up against assaults on democracy.* Source: NHPC. Climate change has set an imperative for economies around the world to revise their … Continue reading ‘Green’ development and democracy? Hydropower in Northeast India