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Privatization

Commoning for Inclusion? Political Communities, Commons, Exclusion, Property and Socio-Natural Becomings

Citation:

Nightingale, Andrea J. 2019. “Commoning for Inclusion? Political Communities, Commons, Exclusion, Property and Socio-Natural Becomings.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 16–35.

Author: Andrea J. Nightingale

Abstract:

As a response to the march of privatization and neoliberal individualism, the commons have recently re-emerged as an attractive alternative. In this article, I bring a feminist political ecology critique to the burgeoning literature on commoning to develop a conceptualisation of how political communities of commoning emerge through socionatural subjectification and affective relations. All commoning efforts involve a renegotiation of the (contested) political relationships through which everyday community affairs, production and exchange are organised and governed. Drawing on critical property studies, diverse economies, feminist theory and commoning literatures, this analysis critically explores the relationship between property and commoning to reveal how the commons emerge from the exercise of power. Central to my conceptualisation is that commoning is a set of practices and performances that foster new relations and subjectivities, but these relations are always contingent, ambivalent outcomes of the exercise of power. As such, commoning creates socionatural inclusions and exclusions, and any moment of coming together can be succeeded by new challenges and relations that un-common. I argue for the need to focus on doing  commoning, becoming in common, rather than seeking to cement property rights, relations of sharing and collective practices as the backbone of durable commoning efforts. Becoming in common then, is a partial, transitory becoming, one which needs to be (re)performed to remain stable over time and space.

Keywords: common property, environmental subjectivities, exclusion, feminist political ecology, inclusion, Nepal, political communities

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Privatization, Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2019

Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi

Citation:

Patel, Raj, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, and Laifolo Dakishoni. 2015. “Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 42 (1): 21-44.

Authors: Raj Patel, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, Laifolo Dakishoni

Abstract:

The Group of Eight Countries (G8) launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to improve nutritional outcomes through private sector involvement in agricultural development. The accession of Malawi to the Alliance reveals the assumptions behind the intervention. We show that while the New Alliance may seem to have little to do with nutrition, its emergence as a frame for the privatization of food and agriculture has been decades in the making, and is best understood as an outcome of a project of nutritionism. To highlight the failings of the approach, we present findings from the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative in northern Malawi, which has demonstrated success in combatting malnutrition through a combination of agroecological farming practices, community mobilization, women’s empowerment and changes in intrahousehold gender dynamics. Contrasting a political economic analysis of the New Alliance alongside that of the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative shows the difference between a concern with the gendered social context of malnutrition, and nutritionism. We conclude with an analysis of the ways that nutrition can play a part in interventions that are inimical, or conducive, to freedom. 

Keywords: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, agroecology, nutritionism, gender, Malawi, africa, food security, food sovereignty

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Political Economies, Privatization, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2015

Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance

Citation:

Belkis, Fatma, and İz Öztat. 2018. “Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 14 (3): 368–73.

Authors: Fatma Belkis, İz Öztat

Annotation:

Summary:
"Following the Gezi Uprising in 2013, we felt the need to learn from grassroots struggles, ongoing since 1998, against the construction of small hydroelectric power plants (SHPs) on rivers in numerous valleys of Anatolia. The attempt by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to destroy Gezi Park and the occupation that followed made clear the widespread impact of construction-led growth policies in urban and rural contexts. The anti-SHP movement’s slogan is “Rivers will flow free,” which resonated with us as a radical desire for the right to life of all beings. The slogan voices a demand for the agency of rivers and challenges state and corporate decisions to control their courses with pipes, dams, and dredging.
 
"The grassroots struggle against SHPs coincides with legislation that allows the leasing of water-use rights in rivers to private energy companies for at least fortynine years. Following the privatization “the AKP government launched an aggressive programme” whose goal was building “2,000 small (and large) hydropower plants by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic”(Erensu and Karaman 2017, 14). Governments, corporations, and banks frame SHPs as renewable energy production solutions that facilitate “development,” but in Turkey, as in many other places, their implementation involves removing the water from its bed and running it through pipes to feed multiple turbines, which deprives all living creatures in the ecosystem of their life source.
 
"Our collaborative installation work Who Carries the Water (Belkıs and Öztat 2015) took form as we visited valleys where residents resist the process of dispossession that ensues with the construction of SHPs" (Belkis and Öztat 2018, 368-9).

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe

Year: 2018

The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico

Citation:

Bennett, Vivienne. 1995. The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author: Vivienne Bennett

Annotation:

Summary:
Bennett unravels the politics of water in Monterrey by following three threads of inquiry.  First, she examines the water services themselves - what was built, when, why, and who paid for them.  She then reveals the response of poor women to the water crisis, analyzing who participated in protests, the strategies they used, and how the government responded.  And, finally, she considers the dynamics of planning water services for the private sector and the government in investment and management.  In the end, Monterrey’s water services improved because power relations shifted and because poor women in Monterrey used protests to make national news out of the city’s water crisis.
 
The Politics of Water makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on regional politics in Mexico and to a deeper understanding of the Monterrey region in particular.  Until recently, most scholarly writing on Mexico spoke of the national political system as a monolithic whole.  Scholars such as Vivienne Bennett are now recognizing the power of local citizens and the significant differences among regions when it comes to politics, policy making, and governmental investment decisions. (Summary from original source)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Urban Water Services: Theory and Planning
 
3. Buildup of a Crises: The Evolution of Monterrey's Water Service, 1909-1985
 
4. The Voice of the People: Protests Over Water Service in Monterrey Between 1973 and 1985
 
5. Gender, Class, and Water: The Role of Women in Protests Over Water
 
6. Agua Para Todos: The Government's Response to the Water Crisis
 
7. Conclusion: The Politics of Water

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1995

“Traditional” Women, “Modern” Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen. 2006. “‘Traditional’ Women, ‘Modern’ Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India.” Geoforum 37 (6): 958–72.

Author: Kathleen O'Reilly

Abstract:

In this paper, I analyze the connections made between women and water in a Rajasthani drinking water supply project as a significant part of drinking water’s commodification. For development policy makers, water progressing from something free to something valued by price is inevitable when moving economies toward modernity and development. My findings indicate that water is not commodified simply by charging money for it, but through a series of discourses and acts that link it to other “modern” objects and give it value. One of these objects is “women”. I argue that through women’s participation activities that link gender and modernity to new responsibilities and increased mobility for village women involving the clean water supply, a “traditional” Rajasthani woman becomes “modern”. Water, in parallel, becomes “new”, “improved” and worth paying for. Women and water resources are further connected through project staff’s efforts to promote latrines by targeting women as their primary users. The research shows that villagers applied their own meanings to latrines, some of which precluded women using them. This paper fills a gap in feminist political ecology, which often overlooks how gender is created through natural resource interventions, by concerning itself with how new meanings of “water” and “women” are mutually constructed through struggles over water use and its commodification. It contributes to critical development geography literatures by demonstrating that women’s participation approaches to natural resource development act as both constraints and opportunities for village constituents. It examines an under-explored area of gender and water research by tracing village-level struggles over meanings of latrines.

Keywords: water, gender, India, NGOs, development, Latrines, commodification

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

“On the Network, Off the Map”: Developing Intervillage and Intragender Differentiation in Rural Water Supply

Citation:

Birkenholtz, Trevor. 2013. “‘On the Network, Off the Map’: Developing Intervillage and Intragender Differentiation in Rural Water Supply.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 (2): 354–71.

Author: Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Despite decades of water-supply development programs in the Global South, their effect on gendered access to water remains both unclear and contradictory. This paper addresses this lacuna by examining the expansion of a rural water-supply network aimed at reducing household water scarcity in the arid zone of Rajasthan, India. Specifically, the Indira Gandhi Canal was conceived and constructed during the green revolution to ‘green the Thar Desert’. But now, through a complex network of reservoirs, treatment facilities, distribution centers, and supply pipelines, it connects much of rural and urban western Rajasthan to a drinking water-supply network. The paper examines the interaction of water-supply technologies, social power relations and dynamic socioecological change operating within these development processes. To do so it draws on household surveys, interviews with water users and government engineers, and participant observation with women and children water collectors. The paper finds that this ongoing water development project rendered the water provision landscape technical on the surface, but that uneven flows of water between villages and people reveal a more complex water provision landscape. The expansion of the network based on a technical reimagining of water supply has resulted in intervillage scarcity, intragender differential access, usurious private water markets, the abandonment and then the proposed rehabilitation of traditional water bodies, and urban water logging. In the conclusion I argue for a rethinking of water-supply development programs through a political ecology approach that focuses on the emergent capacities of water-supply technologies to redirect existing socioecological associations in unanticipated ways. Looking at the relationship between nature— society and technology may illuminate the possible ruptures in these associations and the ways that they may be rearticulated to produce less differentiating modes of accessing water. 

Keywords: political ecology, water, power, gender, scarcity, India

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2013

Gender, Land, and Water: From Reform to Counter-Reform in Latin America

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, and Magdalena Leon. 1998. “Gender, Land, and Water: From Reform to Counter-Reform in Latin America.” Agriculture and Human Values 15(4): 375–86.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Magdalena Leon

Abstract:

Rural women did not fare very well in the land reforms carried out during the Latin American “reformist period” of the 1960s and 1970s, with women being under-represented among the beneficiaries. It is argued that women have been excluded from access to and control over water for similar reasons that they were excluded from access to land during these reforms. The paper also investigates the extent to which women have gained or lost access to land during the “counter-reforms” of the 1980s and 1990s. Under the neo-liberal agenda, production cooperatives as well as communal access to land have largely been undermined in favor of privatization and the individual parcelization of collectives. Significant land titling efforts are also being carried out throughout the region to promote the development of a vigorous land market. This latter period has also been characterized by the growth of the feminist movement throughout Latin America and a growing commitment by states to gender equity. The paper reviews the extent to which rural women‘s access to land and, thus, water has potentially been enhanced by recent changes in agrarian and legal codes.
 

Keywords: cooperatives, land markets, land reform, gender and land, Latin American rural women, Neo-liberal restructuring

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Privatization, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 1998

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

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