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Title: Water governance in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Author: Castillo, Ameyali Ramos
ISNI:       0000 0003 6697 9867
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Through a case study of the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, this dissertation queries the relevance of current water governance frameworks to cities in the global south and brings to light a major mismatch between official water governance policies and the realities of cities in the global South. Drawing on a diversity of methodological tools and theoretical approaches, this dissertation demonstrates that current water governance approaches - be them state- based, market driven, or participatory - have systematically failed because they are based on assumptions of socio-political homogeneity, functioning democratic systems, and equitable and networked water access that are not reflective of cities in the global South. I demonstrate that San Cristobal- like many cities in the global South - has since its inception, been characterized and marked by a high degree of differentiation and fragmentation that, through explicit socio-political strategies, shaped and continues to shape contemporary water governance efforts in the city. I examine the diversity of water governance systems and the unique relationships to water in San Cristobal that have emerged in response to these processes of social and spatial fragmentation and document how they relate to each other and to the formal water governance system. I then demonstrate that current water governance endeavors not only deny the existence of diversity in water governance systems but actually aim to impose a single, unified, normative water governance framework. Based on evidence gathered in this dissertation I contend that, contrary to mainstream water governance approaches, a diversity of water governances in the city has the potential to strengthen - rather than hinder - effective and sustainable urban water governance. Thus, I conclude that an alternative model, based on polycentric governance, would be more appropriate for San Cristobal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available