dws-uva-boelens-riego-aguas-770pxDr R. A. Boelens (1965) has been appointed professor by special appointment of the Political Ecology of Water in Latin America at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

The chair has been established on behalf of the International Congress of Americanists (ICA) Foundation. As professor by special appointment, Boelens will be working within the interuniversity organisation Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA).

dws-uva-boelens-350pxUneven distribution of water
"Power and politics are driving forces behind the ways that uneven distribution of water and decision-making are legitimated and perpetuated", Rutgerd Boelens says. "The interaction between formal and informal rights and governance plays an important role in this. Study of these social, technological and ecological processes brings together the disciplines of natural and social sciences."

The chair will focus on the thematic working fields of the political ecology of water distribution and control, water governance and governmentality, and water grabbing and water justice in Latin America.

Research, education and training will address the growing competition among multiple water user groups and use sectors in the (adverse) Latin American policy and legislative contexts, which make that water access and decision-making power often concentrate in the hands of the few.

An important element of research will be the opportunities for multi-scale strategies by grassroots organisations who look for ways to counter current water injustices.

dws-uva-boelens-author-book-covers-375pxAssociater professor at Wageningen University
Boelens is associate professor of Water Resources Management at Wageningen University. He is responsible for the academic coordination of several international research programmes focused on water policy, legal pluralism and the political and cultural dimensions of water management.

Boelens holds the special chair in ‘Territorial Studies’ at the National Science Foundation CONACYT in Mexico and is visiting professor at the Catholic University of Peru. He is the founder and coordinator of the research alliance Justicia Hidrica (Water Justice), an intercontinental network focused on research, training and policy analysis in multiple countries.

The alliance works with academic and policymaking organisations, water-user organisations and the indigenous peasant movements. Boelens is the author of many scientific articles and books on the powers, cultures and politics of water.

This news item was originally published on the websites of University of Amsterdam and Wageningen University.

More information
University of Amsterdam
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Amsterdam, the Nertherlands
+31 20 525 5820 

Wageningen Uniuversity
Water Resources Management Group
Wageningen, the Netherlands
+31 317 484 190