New Territorialities of Governance for the Anthropocene


  • Diane Davis Harvard University


governance, risk, water, climate crisis, territoriality, anthropocene.




This paper takes as its point of departure the contemporary climate crisis and asks questions about the appropriate territorial scales of governance for the Anthropocene. With a focus on  water, and using evidence from the US and Mexico, the paper assesses the extent to which current governance arrangements deriving from 19th century political arrangements are capable of addressing the 21st century  water challenges set in motion by climate change.  In addition to examining the historical evolution of water governance arrangements and how they have been challenged and reformulated by both extreme drought and frequent flooding, the paper proposes that planners institutionalize new territorialities for governing water. The paper builds on a discussion of hydrosocial regions, experiments in fixed versus flexible governance arrangements, and other innovations that help transcend urban and rural divides while descaling governance from the nation to the region for the management of water.