Harris, L. (in press) Theorizing gender, ethnic difference, and inequality in relation to water access and politics in southeastern Turkey. In: C. Ashcraft and T. Mayer (Eds) The Politics of Freshwater: Access, Conflict and Identity. Routledge, Earthscan.
Abstract: This chapter makes two assertions. First, one cannot assess, and fully understand the politics of fresh water without attention to inequality, notably with respect to gender and other axes of difference. Second, water access and politics often play a central role in constituting key categories of difference and inequality. As such, these categories are not static, but shift and change in relation to the changing waterscape and associated environmental dynamics. In this chapter, I elaborate these assertions with examples based on earlier work examining complex waterscape changes underway in the upper Tigris-Euphrates basin, also highlighting key concepts from several decades of work in feminist political ecology.
To begin, I detail several contextual features of the context in southeastern Turkey. Next, I support the chapter’s two opening assertions through empirical discussion. In the final section of the chapter, I consider these insights in relation to broader themes in feminist political ecology (FPE), particularly taking into account conceptual and empirical linkages between socio-political difference, inequality, and freshwater politics. This final section aims to more fully draw out what an FPE approach—focusing on gender and other intersectional differences—offers for understanding connections between the focal themes of this volume—notably, water access, conflict, and identity. As elements of this work have been published previously, relevant selections are cited and can be consulted directly for further elaboration.