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Capability, Sustainability and Collective Action: An Examination of a River Water Dispute

By Prathivadi B. Anand


NoIn this paper, a framework is developed to consider collective action, sustainability and the capability approach with regard to resolution of water disputes, followed by a brief discussion of how identity can hinder cooperation or the development of universalism. This framework is then examined with a case study of the Cauvery river dispute in India. At the heart of river water disputes are issues related to justice and fairness, which depend to a significant extent on: how citizens perceive their claims over river water (shaped by cultural and historical factors); the extent to which citizens are able to collectivize their claims through location, economic activity and identity, and use their voice to influence the state; the extent to which the state policy and actions reflect the 'voice' and collective interests of different groups; and how the various riparian states recognize and deal with each others' claims. The framework discussed here suggests that the capability approach provides us with a much broader framework than collective action or Robert Solow's sustainability as inter-generational fairness. These are conjectures for further exploration

Topics: River Waters, Capability Approach, Collective Action, Sustainability, Conflict Resolution
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1080/14649880601101465
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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