Collective action, community and the peasant economy in Andean highland water control

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For many Andean communities, irrigation systems form the basis for accessing water for agricultural production and, as such, they are an important axis around which collective action is mobilized (Bolin, 1990; Hoogesteger, 2013b; Verzijl and Guerrero Quispe, 2013). In the Andean context, with unpredictable climates, unstable geophysical conditions, and changing irrigation policies, more than almost any other economic activity, irrigation is grounded in collective action that is based on mutual dependence and intensive cooperation among users. In the Andes, besides privately managed irrigation systems owned by landlords and agribusiness companies, two forms of irrigation development and water use systems prevail, which in broad terms can be divided into state led and community based. State-led irrigation development has been characterized by its large scale, high cost, market-oriented and top-down management approach since at least the 1960s. On the other hand, community-managed irrigation systems tend to be small scale, constructed with local resources and know-how, managed through collective action from the bottom up and often with a very diverse production rationale. These two forms of irrigation management have grown closer to each other in the last three decades as on the one side collective action has come to play a more important role in formerly state-managed irrigation systems and, on the other, the state has become more active in funding the modernization of community-managed irrigation systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Governance and Collective Action
Subtitle of host publicationMulti-scale Challenges
EditorsDiana Suhardiman, Alan Nicol, Everisto Mapedza
Place of PublicationOxon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315174938
ISBN (Print)9781138040540, 9781138040595
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameEarthscan Water Text Series


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