Disputes over territorial boundaries and diverging valuation languages: the Santurban hydrosocial highlands territory in Colombia

Bibiana Duarte-Abadía, Rutgerd Boelens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine the divergent modes of conceptualizing, valuing and representing the páramo highlands of Santurban, Colombia, as a struggle over hydrosocial territory. Páramo residents, multinational companies, government and scientists deploy territorial representations and valuation languages that interact and conflict with each other. Government politicians and neo-institutional scientists wish to reconcile diverging interests using a universalistic territorial representation, through game theory. This generates a hydrosocial imaginary that renders invisible actors’ power differentials that lie at the core of the territorial resource use conflict. We conclude that this ‘governmentality’ endeavour enables subtle, silent water rights re-allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-36
JournalWater International
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Colombia
  • conflicts
  • governmentality
  • Hydrosocial territory
  • new institutionalism
  • valuation languages

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