Fluid Governance: Scalar politics in the South African waterscape

Detta är en avhandling från Lund University

Sammanfattning: Popular Abstract in English Practices of scaling are an everyday part of governance. To ignore the way scaling is used as an intended or unintended means of securing power is a depoliticizing act. In this thesis, I consider processes of scaling and how they shape water governance in South Africa. Investigating three cases, namely, the De Hoop Dam development, water service delivery in Johannesburg and proposed hydraulic fracturing of the Karoo, I show how scale framing, scale jumping, scale bending and scale fixing are used to shift decision making across scales and levels. Actors produce and transform scale as a means of inclusion or exclusion. Based on the findings of the research, I draw three conclusions regarding water governance, scale and power. Firstly, water governance in South Africa is highly political and inequalities and injustices are being perpetuated, especially against poor, black residential water users. Patterns of water use have not changed substantially despite reform processes. Secondly, IWRM-led water governance has flaws that require a rethink of the discourse, especially in developing country contexts. Thirdly, scales are constantly produced through social relations and processes of scaling are political. The politics of scaling are constantly shaping environmental governance, social relations and the material world and deserves our attention.