Power and politics across species boundaries: towards Multispecies Justice in Riverine Hydrosocial Territories

Carlota Houart*, Jaime Hoogesteger, Rutgerd Boelens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Rivers have attracted increasing attention as politically contested entities. Existing literature on hydrosocial territories sheds light on how power relations and cultural-political hierarchies permeate rivers and their processes of territorialization, management, and governance. Yet, so far, the multispecies dimension of and in these processes remains under-addressed. This article helps fill in this gap by weaving together two central concepts: hydrosocial territories and multispecies justice. In this theoretical exploration we engage with rivers as living entities and territories co-created, co-inhabited, and actively reshaped by a diversity of human and other-than-human beings. We argue that acknowledging the latter’s agency, as well as the multiple ways in which power and politics constantly cross species boundaries in riverine territories, calls for a dialogue with the notion of multispecies justice (MSJ). We pose that MSJ can support, strengthen, and challenge movements, practices, and modes of relationship around the defence, conservation, and restoration of rivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalEnvironmental Politics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2024

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