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Accepted Paper:

Coloniality of water privilege and accumulation by dispossession: lessons from Mauritius  
Aleksandra Peeroo (Hertfordshire Business School - University of Hertfordshire)

Paper short abstract:

The coloniality of the allocation of water resources perpetuates accumulation by dispossession by those who hold historically privileged access to water. This leads to the perpetuation of social inequalities.

Paper long abstract:

This article contends that the coloniality of the allocation of water resources perpetuates accumulation by dispossession by those who hold historically privileged access to water. Colonial times have created water elites when water resources for irrigation purposes were concentrated in the hands of a few powerful entities. In the present, these water elites use their water privilege to accumulate further by diverting abstracted water to uses other than irrigation. In this process, local communities are marginalised. This coloniality of water resource allocation is based on the underlying structures and power relations forming stable political settlements. A symbiotic relationship between the State and the water elite explains the State’s active support for this continued accumulation by dispossession, in the process of which the State obtains legitimisation and vindication. A case study of the Mauritian water elite originating from colonial sugar estates sheds light on this empirically understudied question of the legacy and coloniality of water resource allocation.

Panel P08
The colonial roots of commodity dependence
  Session 3 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -