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ANTHRO 123B: Government of Water and Crisis: Corporations, States and the Environment

As the Flint, Michigan water situation began to attract attention and condemnation, Michigan State Representative, Sheldon Neeley, describing the 200 troops on the ground and the Red Cross distributing water bottles, said that the Governor had ¿turned an American city into a Third World country [¿] it¿s terrible what he¿s done [¿] no fresh water.¿ Then at the first Congressional hearing, the Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, said, ¿This is the United States of America ¿ this isn't supposed to happen here. We are not some Third World country.¿nnWhat is a `third world problem¿? And is the `water problem¿ the same across the world? This course examines how water is governed in a time that is increasingly seen as one of crisis. We will examine how crises are imagined, constructed, sought to be averted, and the governance regimes they give rise to. And how does water, whether as natural resource, public good, a human right, or commodity, determin more »
As the Flint, Michigan water situation began to attract attention and condemnation, Michigan State Representative, Sheldon Neeley, describing the 200 troops on the ground and the Red Cross distributing water bottles, said that the Governor had ¿turned an American city into a Third World country [¿] it¿s terrible what he¿s done [¿] no fresh water.¿ Then at the first Congressional hearing, the Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, said, ¿This is the United States of America ¿ this isn't supposed to happen here. We are not some Third World country.¿nnWhat is a `third world problem¿? And is the `water problem¿ the same across the world? This course examines how water is governed in a time that is increasingly seen as one of crisis. We will examine how crises are imagined, constructed, sought to be averted, and the governance regimes they give rise to. And how does water, whether as natural resource, public good, a human right, or commodity, determine the contours of such regimes? We will focus mostly on ethnographies, but also examine texts produced by government bodies and aid and environmental organizations, as well as case law. The course will show what anthropology can contribute to the conversation on state and corporate bureaucracies, and their relation with water.
Last offered: Spring 2019
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