Return of the leviathan? 'Hydropolitics in the Developing World' revisited

  • Movik S
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Abstract

The paper focuses on the evolution of water management regimes, water scarcity, and the transition to a new water legislation in South Africa that occuned with the passing of the 1998 National Water Act.lt takes issue with the analysis offered by Turton & Meissner in their 2002 article 'The hydrosocial contract and its manifestation in society: A South African case study' (in Hydropolitics and The Developing World (2002), African Water Research Unit, Pretoria, pp. 37 -60) who argue that the relations between resource users and the State may be conceived of as a 'hydrosocial contract', and that the nature of this relationship has changed from constituting a Hobbesian form of social contract where the State is all-powerful (the Leviathan), to a more Lockean form, where the emphasis is on individuals' willingness to cede some of their autonomy in order to be govemed. The main argument against Turton & Meissner's analysis is that it ignores policy and legislative aspects, which, if included, would substantially alter their conclusion.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Hydrosocial contract
  • IWRM
  • South Africa
  • State authority
  • Water rights reform
  • Water scarcity

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Authors

  • Synne Movik

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