Governing Water in India
Inequality, Reform, and the State
- PUBLISHED: August 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian Studies / South Asia, Environmental Studies, Politics
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 288 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 2 b&w illus., 6 maps, 1 chart, 4 tables
- ISBN: 9780295750439
Intensifying droughts and competing pressures on water resources foreground water scarcity as an urgent concern of the global climate change crisis. In India, individual, industrial, and agricultural water demands exacerbate inequities of access and expose the failures of state governance to regulate use. State policies and institutions influenced by global models of reform produce and magnify socio-economic injustice in this "water bureaucracy."
Drawing on historical records, an analysis of post-liberalization developments, and fieldwork in the city of Chennai, Leela Fernandes traces the configuration of colonial historical legacies, developmental-state policies, and economic reforms that strain water resources and intensify inequality. While reforms of water governance promote privatization and decentralization, they strengthen the state centralized control over water through city-based development models. Understanding the political economy of water thus illuminates the consequent failures of the state within countries of the Global South.
Authors & Contributors
Leela Fernandes is the Director and Stanley D. Golub Endowed Chair of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is author of India's New Middle Class and Transnational Feminism in the United States: Knowledge, Ethics, Power.
Brilliantly argues how centralization tendencies occur in the liberal economy of India at both the national and sub-national levels.- Nagesh Prabhu, author of Reflective Shadows: Political Economy of World Bank Lending to India
Offers a rich description of the dynamics of state authority and a new space to understand centralization beyond the nature of Indian federalism.- Vandana Asthana, author of Water Policy Processes in India: Discourses of Power and Resistance