Bringing together the analysis of a diverse team of social scientists, this book proposes a new approach to environmental problems. Cutting through the fragmented perspectives on water crises, it seeks to shift the analytic perspectives on water policy by looking at the social logics behind environmental issues. Most importantly, it analyzes the dynamic influences on water management, as well as the social and institutional forces that orient water and conservation policies. The first work of its kind, The Field of Water Policy: Power and Scarcity in the American Southwest brings the tools of Pierre Bourdieu’s field sociology to bear on a moment of environmental crisis, with a study of the logics of water policy in the American Southwest, a region that allows us to see the contest over the management of scarce resources in a context of lasting drought. As such, it will appeal to scholars in the social and political sciences with interests in the environment and the management of natural resources.
Table of Contents
Introduction – A Sociological Perspective on Water Policy
1. Engineering Arid Spaces: The Emergence of Western Hydrocracies
2. Supporting the Economic Order: Urban Sprawl and Coalitions for Growth
3. Reinventing Water Conservation: Institutions for Sustainability
4. Sharing Flows: New Professionals with Old Methods
5. Implementing Water Policy: Instruments and their Social Uses in the Colorado River Basin
Conclusion – Dealing with Scarcity
Annex #1 – Revisiting the Laws of the River
Annex #2 – Statistical Analysis
Franck Poupeau is Director of Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and he has been the co-director of the joint international unit for Interdisciplinary and Global Environmental Studies (UMI iGLOBES, CNRS/University of Arizona) from 2012 to 2017. He is the co-editor of several books on water policy: Water Bankruptcy in the Land of Plenty (2016), Water Regimes: Beyond the Public and Private Sector Debate (2016), Water Conflicts and Hydrocracy in the Americas: Coalitions, Networks, Policies (2018).
Brian F. O’Neill is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and at the Center for Research and Documentation on the Americas (CREDA, CNRS/Université Paris III La Sorbonne Nouvelle).
Joan Cortinas Muñoz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations, Sciences Po Paris, France. Previously, he worked at the UMI iGLOBES, CNRS/University of Arizona.
Murielle Coeurdray is a postdoctoral researcher at the UMI iGLOBES, CNRS/University of Arizona.
Eliza Benites-Gambirazio is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Arizona, USA, and at the Center for Research and Documentation on the Americas (CREDA, CNRS/Université Paris III La Sorbonne Nouvelle).