Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

Hydraulic City

Hydraulic City Cover

Hydraulic City

Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai

By Nikhil Anand

Duke University Press, Paperback, 9780822362692, 312pp.

Publication Date: March 17, 2017

Advertisement
Description
In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition--what Anand calls -hydraulic citizenship---is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.


About the Author
Nikhil Anand is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Advertisement