Scientific article

Getting access to water: property rights or public policy strategies?

Published inEnvironment and planning. C, Government & policy, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 154-167
Publication date2013

Water is subject to heterogeneous uses that put pressure on it and create rivalries between competing users. This article analyses the conditions under which challengers are successful in gaining access to the resource and in imposing a change of behaviour on the incumbent users. It asks whether the acquisition of property rights is the only means for a challenger to get access to the resource. The empirical study compares 11 ‘most different' cases of water rivalries in four water basins. It shows that two main ‘paths' explain success: Either the challenger activates a property right and negotiates a solution at no cost for the incumbents, or he activates a public policy that grants him a credible alternative to a negotiated agreement. Thus, the challenger must select the kind of rule, property right or public policy, that supports his position and, then, elaborate an appropriate strategy to impose this rule.

  • Water management
  • Property rights
  • Public policy
  • QCA
Citation (ISO format)
AUBIN, David, VARONE, Frédéric. Getting access to water: property rights or public policy strategies? In: Environment and planning. C, Government & policy, 2013, vol. 31, n° 1, p. 154–167. doi: 10.1068/c11247
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0263-774X

Technical informations

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