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Economía política y ecología política del ciclo hidro-social

Swyngedouw, Erik

The article proposes what would be the key features of political-ecological perspective of the hydro-social cycle. It poses the existence of a close relationship between the transformations of the cycles and the social, political, economic, and cultural power relations. Addressing this relationship requires understanding the circulation of water as physical and social process, a hybrid process whose conceptualization must go beyond the “nature” and “society” dichotomy. The paper also affirms the inseparability of the social and the physical in the production of hydro-social configurations, given that the water the aquatic environments would be socio-physical constructions both in relation to social aspects and physical-environmental ones. In this regard, the political-ecological approach places the emphasis on the economic and political power relations through which the access, control and distribution of water is organized. Therefore, the author argues that there is an urgent need to explore the diverse forms in which social power, in its diverse economic, cultural and political expressions, is fused with the principles of water management and with the election of technological systems and the structures of water supply, distribution, and disposal. The article calls for the imagination of different, more inclusive, sustainable and equitable, forms of social organization, which requires imagining more efficacious and democratic forms of social organization, through sustained intellectual efforts and the mobilization of creative energies by those who have water as their object of research.

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