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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

This chapter introduces the problem that this book addresses: how do societies come to be constructed in such a way that residents cannot drink the water that is supplied to them? The example of the supply of water to Shanghai is taken as a case through which to examine this question. Shanghai, it is argued, is an assemblage of interacting actors. This book examines the properties and characteristics of four principal actors: the hydro-geological conditions and rivers that provide water; the people, corporations and institutions within Shanghai who use and pollute the water; the institutions of central and other governments that regulate the use of the rivers and the discharges into them; and the infrastructures that governments and corporations have built to manage the river. The chapter concludes by outlining the organisation of the chapters through which the book addresses the question.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Joe Williams and Erik Swyngedouw

The opening chapter of this book makes the intellectual and political argument for a more critical understanding of seawater desalination as an emerging phenomenon of water governance. Its purpose, in this sense, is to politicise seawater. The chapter provides an overview of the historic and contemporary development of desalting technologies and the global desalination industry. We argue that, rather than seeing desalination as a water management ‘solution’, it should instead be understood as a socio-technical and political ecological ‘fix’, which allows cities, regions and countries to overcome some of the hydrological barriers to growth and accumulation, while creating or intensifying other social and ecological contradictions. These contradictions, we demonstrate, revolve around the governance of water, privatisation and commercialisation, the water-energy nexus, and marine ecology. Finally, we summarise the substantive chapters included in the book.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Daniel R. Montello

This chapter introduces and overviews the field of behavioral and cognitive geography. Behavioral and cognitive geography is the study of human mind and activity in and concerning space, place, and environment. The field relates to many subfields of human geography, cartography, and geographic information science (GIScience). It is also fundamentally multi- and interdisciplinary, connecting primarily to various subfields of research psychology, but also to economics, linguistics, computer science, architecture and planning, anthropology, neuroscience, and more. It originated as a contrast to aggregate approaches to human geography that treat people as more or less interchangeable within groups and homogeneous in their responses; to models of human activity based on simplistic and psychologically implausible assumptions; and to conceptualizations of humans as passive responders to culture, social institutions, economic forces, and the physical environment. The chapter concludes with an overview of the Handbook that it introduces.

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Andreas Raspotnik

In recent years, the Arctic region has reappeared as a centre of world politics and attracted the interest of stakeholders from within and outside the circumpolar North. The region is literally melting and the term ‘Arctic geopolitics’ has become a popular catchphrase to illustrate the Arctic’s status quo and its allegedly fluid future. During that time the European Union also discovered its Northern neighbourhood. Concerned about an unstable Arctic region and related spill-over effects reaching Europe, the EU has shown considerable interest in having a determining influence on future regional developments. It envisioned an Arctic future alongside its own conceptualisation of world order, rule of law and good governance.

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Edited by Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert