Dr Jessica Budds is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Geography and International Development in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia in the UK. She holds an undergraduate degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Glasgow, a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of London, and a doctorate in Human Geography from the University of Oxford. Her work focuses on political ecologies of water in the Global South, in which she explores how initiatives to foster economic growth reshape water governance, and how this in turn reconfigures the lives, livelihoods and landscapes of low-income and/or marginalised groups. This work pursues two key strands: firstly, the outcomes and implications of the application of economic and market principles to water (including water privatisation, water markets, and payments for ecosystem services), and, secondly, the implications of the development of new major industries (such as agribusiness, mining, and hydroelectric power) for local people’s access to and control over water resources. Her work shows that technical approaches to development, including new infrastructure, market-based solutions, and scientific assessments, not only often reproduce the social exclusion that they were framed as being able to overcome, but can also form means through which elite groups pursue and consolidate economic and political power.
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