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The liquid politics of an urban age

Diep, L; (2018) The liquid politics of an urban age. Palgrave Communications , 4 (1) , Article 76. 10.1057/s41599-018-0133-5. Green open access

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Abstract

In fragile social and economic societies, water governance systems have rarely managed to meet everyone’s needs, but rather misrecognised the demand of those excluded from decision-making structures. Across regions, underlying socio-political issues have often remained unaddressed on the basis that water scarcity is primarily caused by geo-climatic conditions. Exclusionary governance is one central driver to migratory patterns along with instabilities in political regimes. It is reflected in poor service provision and tends to perpetuate injustices. Several commitments of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) set objectives of universal and equitable water provision through multi-stakeholder involvement in urban planning processes. It thereby demonstrates efforts deployed towards ‘good governance’ for transparent, accountable and participatory decision-making. However, several studies have pointed out the questionable role of citizens in NUA. Building on their argument, the present article reflects on exclusionary patterns that the NUA aims to tackle and the mechanisms it proposes to achieve this. This article aims to highlight how power relations in water governance produce and reproduce exclusion in access, such as through population movements. It questions how NUA envisions water governance structures based on collaboration between multiple stakeholders in different contexts, and highlights the need to scrutinise the people-centric language adopted in its commitments. With references to water politics from Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it adopts a political ecology approach looking at questions of inclusivity for marginalised groups and discusses approaches for the active involvement of these people in water governance models.

Type: Article
Title: The liquid politics of an urban age
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1057/s41599-018-0133-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0133-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057281
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