The shifting geopolitics of water in the anthropocene

Afton Clarke-Sather, Brittany Crow-Miller, Jeffrey M. Banister, Kimberley Anh Thomas, Emma S. Norman, Scott R. Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This forum responds to recent calls to hypothesize a geopolitics of the Anthropocene by examining how our notions of geopolitics of water may shift in the context of this new and, at times, divisive framework. The Anthropocene describes the geological epoch in which humans are the dominant actor in the global environmental system and has been a concept that is not without controversy. Taking the Anthropocene as an epistemological divergence where nature can no longer be viewed as separate from humanity, this forum asks how moving away from understanding hydraulic systems as essentially stable to understanding them as unstable and profoundly influenced by humans changes our understanding ofthe geopolitics of water. Collectively the contributions to this forum illustrate that formulating a water geopolitics of the Anthropocene requires 1) moving beyond a focus on fluvial flows to consider other forms of water; 2) broadening our understanding of the actors involved in water geopolitics; 3) examining new geopolitical tactics, particularly those grounded in law; 4) engaging critically with new and emerging forms of visualization and representation in the geopolitics of water, and; 5) examining how the notion of the Anthropocene has been used towards geopolitical ends and worked to elide different positionalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-359
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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