The Age of Commodity: Water Privatization in Southern Africa

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As globalization and market liberalization march forward unabated the global commons continue to be commodified and privatized at a rapid pace. In this global process, the ownership, sale and supply of water is increasingly a flashpoint for debates and conflict over privatization, and nowhere is the debate more advanced or acute than in Southern Africa. The Age of Commodity provides an overview of the debates over water in the region including a conceptual overview of water 'privatization', how it relates to human rights, macro-economic policy and GATS. The book then presents case studies of important water privatization initiatives in the region, drawing out crucial themes common to water privatization debates around the world including corruption, gender equity and donor conditionalities. This book is powerful and necessary reading in our new age of commodity.

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From Public to Private to Public Again?
Theory and Practice
Case Studies in South Africa
Case Studies in the Region
Stillborn in Harare Attempts to Privatize Water in a City in Crisis
There is Still No Alternative The Beginnings of Water Privatization in Lusaka
Water Privatization in Namibia Creating a New Apartheid?
The New Face of Conditionalities The World Bank and Water Privatization in Ghana

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About the author (2005)

David A McDonald is Director of the Development Studies Programme at Queen's University, Canada. Greg Ruiters is Senior Lecturer in Political Studies at Rhodes University, South Africa.

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