The Biopolitics of Water: Governance, Scarcity and Populations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Biopolitics of Water

Governance, Scarcity and Populations, 1st Edition

By Sofie Hellberg


192 pages

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Paperback: 9780367508395
pub: 2020-04-01
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st April 2020
Hardback: 9781138740754
pub: 2018-03-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315183251
pub: 2018-03-28
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Biopolitics refers to a form of politics concerned with administering and regulating the conditions of life at an aggregated level of populations. This book provides a biopolitical perspective on water governance and its effects. It draws on the work of Foucault to explore how notions of scarcity are used in strategies of governance and how such governance differentiates between different populations. Furthermore, the author investigates what such biopolitical regulation means for people’s lifestyles and the way they understand themselves and their moral responsibilities as humans, individuals and citizens.

The book begins by investigating the global water agenda, with a particular emphasis on its focus on water for basic needs, and provides different examples of hydromentalities around the world. It also presents rich empirical details of one local case in South Africa. By carefully exploring the water 'stories' of water users, the book provides new perspectives on the relationship between water and power. Additionally, it offers an innovative methodological framework through which we can study the workings of governance more generally, and water governance specifically. It thereby contributes to the scholarship on water governance in relation to how water governance and technologies are part of producing subjectivities, notions of life and lifestyles and, more specifically, how the global water agenda can work so as to produce, or further entrench, distinctions between different lives and lifestyles. Ultimately, such differences between individuals and populations that are produced as an effect of water governance are assessed in relation to social sustainability.

Table of Contents

1. The power and politics of Water

2. (Green) Governmentality and biopolitics

3. Global water governance: Scarcity, populations and distinctions

4. Hydromentalities

5. Understanding biopolitical effects locally: Life(styles), subjectivities and moral obligations

6. The biopolitics of water

About the Author

Sofie Hellberg is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to water resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy