Water laws in the Andes: A promising precedent for challenging neoliberalism

María Cecilia Roa-García, Patricia Urteaga-Crovetto, Rocío Bustamante-Zenteno

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

32 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

The purpose of this article is to analyze the advances of, and obstacles to, progressive attempts at modifying the balance of power over water through the use of the law as a tool for social transformation and to characterize the alternatives based on the ways in which they challenge neoliberal principles. The study of such dynamics using a broad perspective on the law which includes not only written laws, but also historical moments in which water laws were created and used, provides a platform to discern alternatives that in many cases might otherwise remain invisible. We critically analyze the major legal contradictions and tensions in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru that suggest post- and counter-neoliberal alternatives. First, certain alternatives indicate a break from neoliberal principles based on relational ontologies (that avoid divisions between nature and culture as well as between individuals and communities). Such breaks include the statement that water is a common good or a common resource for the benefit of all, the goal to re-establish the human connection with nature, and support for a water provision system based on reciprocity, community and cooperative principles. Second, additional proposals that can be characterized as counter-neoliberal oppose neoliberal means or outcomes, such as proposals for more equitable water allocation or inclusive participation mechanisms for decision making. Both counter- and post-neoliberal alternatives also find much resistance in water laws; however, they do represent progressive alternatives that reach state laws and challenge neoliberal conceptions of nature.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)270-280
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónGeoforum
Volumen64
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 1 ago. 2015

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