1st Edition

Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania

    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book restores water, both fresh and salt, to its central position in human endeavour, ecology and environment. Water access and the environmental and social problems of development are major issues of concern in this century. Drawing on water's many formations in debating human relationship with a major source of life and a major factor in contemporary politics, this book covers oceans and rivers to lagoons, billabongs and estuaries in Asia, Oceania and the West Pacific. In an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary analysis of the water problem, the contributors address the physical descriptors of water and water flow, and they interrogate the politicised administrations of water in closely corresponding regions.

    Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania identifies new discursive possibilities for thinking about water in theory and in practice. It presents those discourses that seem most useful in addressing the multiple crises the region is facing and thus should be of interest to scholars of Asian Studies, Geography, Environmental and Cultural Studies.

    1. Introduction: Fresh and Salt Devleena Ghosh, Heather Goodall and Stephen Muecke 2. The Forms of Water: In the Land and In the Soul Jeff Malpas 3. Variable Rights and Diminishing Control: The Evolution of Indigenous Maritime Sovereignty in Oceania Paul D’Arcy 4. Ocean, Empire and Nation: Japanese Fisheries Politics Kate Barclay 5. Water Futures and their Influence on Sovereignty in the Marshall Islands Dirk H. R. Spennemann 6. ‘The Fisherman’s Lot’: Popular Responses to the Indian Ocean in Economic and Ecological Crisis Devleena Ghosh and Stephen Muecke 7. Boundaries, Scale and Power in South Asia Douglas Hill 8. Intellectual Critiques, People’s Resistance and Inter-riparian Contestations: Constraints to the Power of the State regarding Flood Control and Water Management in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta of Bangladesh Shapan Adnan 9. Issues of Scale in Governing Water as a Common Good: The Mekong River Basin Philip Hirsch 10. Managing the Yellow River: Questions of Borders, Boundaries and Access Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson, Mark Wang 11. Watered Down? Legal Constructs, Tradable Entitlements and the Regulation of Water Janice Gray 12. Water – Fluid Perceptions Tony McAvoy 13. For whom the Fitzroy River flows – a Fluctuating Analysis of Social and Environmental Sustainability and Incremental Sovereignty Sandy Toussaint 14. Salt Pan Creek: Rivers as Border Zones within the Colonial City Heather Goodall and Allison Cadzow


    Devleena Ghosh is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Inquiry at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her research interests are in Indian Ocean studies, postcolonial studies and the cultural history of migration. She is currently involved in a joint project researching Intercolonial Networks in the Indian Ocean.

    Heather Goodall is a Professor of History in the School of Social Inquiry at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include place and contested histories, Indigenous histories, environmental history, cross-cultural research, international activism and new media. She is currently engaged on a research project focussing on Australia's relations with the Indian Ocean Region.

    Stephanie Hemelryk Donald was formerly Director of the Institute for International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and is now a Professor of Chinese media studies at the University of Sydney.

    "Overall, this book provides empirically grounded and critically important perspectives on water management and debates over water. The authors are quite objective in their analyses but also motivated by a recognition that the global community, nation-states and local peoples all have varying and valid perspectives on the symbolic and material aspects of water management that must be understood on different scales. The book also excels in its interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspective toward these issues, emphasizing that water and sovereignty issues affect everyone and that the resolution of these issues in the fast-developing region of Asia and the Pacific will shape the geopolitical future."

    - Susan Russell, Pacific Affairs: Volume 83, No. 1 – March 2010