Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) biennial conference, Oslo, Norway, 20 – 22 June 2018
Organized by Alex Loftus (King’s College London) and Hug March (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Financialising water security/securing financialisation?
The concept of water security has been adopted enthusiastically across a range of different domains, disciplines and fields, rapidly coming to shape dominant approaches to water governance and flood protection. Critical scholars have been more mixed in their approach with some calling for a careful engagement with the emerging discourse rather than an outright dismissal of what is rapidly becoming the mainstream (Jepson et al 2017). Part of this critical engagement means tracing the emergence of water security discourses and seeing how it is internally related with other developments in the uneven production, distribution and circulation of potable water. One crucial question is how processes of financialisation are shaped by and shape discourses around water security. Thus, for Loftus and March (2016), the construction of a desalination plant on the River Thames in London needs to be situated within both processes of financialisation and claims to be securing London’s water resources. This session seeks to question what, if any, relationship there is between the turn to big infrastructure, the discourse of water security and the process of financialising water services. We are particularly open to approaches that build on understandings of the hydrosocial cycle (Linton and Budds 2014) and that engage critically with emerging debates around both financialisation and water security.