chapter  5
16 Pages

The political economy of the right to water: reinvigorating the question of property

The condition of constant and rapid expansion is the impetus for the astonishingly creative and productive nature of capitalism. This need for perpetual growth is also the driving force behind neoliberal mandated policy prescriptions that have taken shape throughout the world in the dismantling of government mandated regulatory frameworks of varied sorts (most notably environmental, health and labour) as well as the withdrawal of the state from the social provision of what is commonly known as social and/ or public goods and services, including water and wastewater services. Though these neoliberal reforms are extremely complex and diverse on a case by case basis – in both form and scope – and also highly variegated in terms of intensity of implementation, the overarching modus operandi of these reforms is the penetration, expansion and accumulation of capital into areas of life hitherto unaffected by the free market.