Water and the Territory of Citizenship

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


The previous chapter addressed the contradictions between the formal enunciation of rights, such as the universal right to water and essential water-related services, and the real practices that render formal entitlements meaningless for vast majorities. In this regard, the formal sanctioning of the access to water and essential water services as universal public goods in Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution, which in practice was never achieved, is an excellent example. The constitution not only proclaimed the universal right to a share in the social wealth, but also gave the state a leading role in endowing individuals and social groups with the means to exercise effective command over essential goods and services such as water and sanitation. However, as discussed earlier, despite the laudable principles adopted in the charter, and of the paternalistic policies that followed, the factual post-revolution development was characterized by ‘the internal dynamics of inequality’ (González Casanova, 1965b: 87). This process eventually precluded a large part of the Mexican population from full access to these essential goods and services and, indeed, to the territory of citizenship.1


Civil Society Federal District Water Service Water Sector North American Free Trade Agreement 
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Copyright information

© José Esteban Castro 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Newcastle upon TyneUK

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