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Re-imagined communities : a new ethical approach to water policy.

Strang, V. (2016) 'Re-imagined communities : a new ethical approach to water policy.', in The Oxford handbook of water politics and policy. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.


Focusing on water as a connective material flow, this chapter reconsiders notions of community, agency, and identity from the perspective of contemporary debates on ecological ethics and relationality. By articulating the fluid relationships between humans, nonhumans, and the material world, these debates critique dominant conceptual assumptions about Nature and Culture as separate domains. Such assumptions continue to underpin water policy and management, casting ecosystems—and their dependent species—as the subjects of human action, with generally poor outcomes for their well-being. The chapter draws on actor-network theory, philosophical ideas about ethics, and analyses of materiality to propose a re-imagined model of “community” that reintegrates the human and nonhuman, and opens up the potential for more reciprocal—and thus more sustainable—human‒environmental relationships. In doing so, it proposes a new kind of “participatory” framework for water policy development.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is a draft of a chapter that was accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in the book 'The Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy' edited by Ken Conca and Erika Weinthal and published in 2016.
Date accepted:30 March 2014
Date deposited:26 January 2017
Date of first online publication:05 December 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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