A Political Economy of Water

  • Larry A. Swatuk
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


Water is essential to all aspects of human life. As such, water access, use, and management reflect society back to itself. Swatuk focuses on selected aspects of human water use, in particular water for development, cities, and agriculture. He highlights the discourses at play in determining who gets what kind of water and the centrality of economic and political power in determining social flows of water. Swatuk concludes that there is no “magic bullet” to solving the world’s water woes due to the multiplicity of stakeholders and their differential interests and capacities. As a result, a more socially equitable, economically efficient, and ecologically sustainable outcome will require citizens to be organized and active.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry A. Swatuk
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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