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Differentiated Access: Water, Citizenship and Politics

Global water policy highlights the need to extend affordable and safe water to underserved communities, in addition to fostering participatory water governance. This book focuses on experiences of water access and governance in underserved communities of Cape Town South Africa and Accra, Ghana. With a comparative case study design involving two urban sites, and through a political ecology approach highlighting social and spatial difference, the project engages theoretical interests at the intersection of neoliberal natures, environmental citizenship, political ecology, and everyday experiences of water access; makes methodological contributions to narrative analysis, particularly for nature-society studies; and empirical contributions regarding possibilities for extending water access and promoting participatory governance in both sites. It is estimated that in Accra, Ghana, one third of the urban population does not enjoy access to safe and affordable water. Similar challenges face those living around Cape Town, where water and sanitation have been central to recent service delivery protests. The analysis offered considers how differentiated water access holds meaning for people’s lives,  including connections to identity and citizenship, as well as broader processes of state and nation building.


Fellows involved in this project


Related publications

Journal Article

Harris, Leila M. 2019. Assessing states: Water service delivery and evolving state–society relations in Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 239965441985936.

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