Riverhood: political ecologies of socionature commoning and translocal struggles for water justice

Rutgerd Boelens, Arturo Escobar, Karen Bakker, Lena Hommes, Erik Swyngedouw, Barbara Hogenboom, Edward H. Huijbens, Sue Jackson, Jeroen Vos, Leila M. Harris, K. J. Joy, Fabio de Castro, Bibiana Duarte-Abadía, Daniele Tubino de Souza, Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Nuria Hernández-Mora, Joan Martínez-Alier, Denisse Roca-Servat, Tom Perreault, Carles Sanchis-IborDiana Suhardiman, Astrid Ulloa, Arjen Wals, Jaime Hoogesteger, Juan Pablo Hidalgo-Bastidas, Tatiana Roa-Avendaño, Gert Jan Veldwisch, Phil Woodhouse, Karl M. Wantzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Mega-damming, pollution and depletion endanger rivers worldwide. Meanwhile, modernist imaginaries of ordering ‘unruly waters and humans’ have become cornerstones of hydraulic-bureaucratic and capitalist development. They separate hydro/social worlds, sideline river-commons cultures, and deepen socio-environmental injustices. But myriad new water justice movements (NWJMs) proliferate: rooted, disruptive, transdisciplinary, multi-scalar coalitions that deploy alternative river–society ontologies, bridge South–North divides, and translate river-enlivening practices from local to global and vice-versa. This paper's framework conceptualizes ‘riverhood’ to engage with NWJMs and river commoning initiatives. We suggest four interrelated ontologies, situating river socionatures as arenas of material, social and symbolic co-production: ‘river-as-ecosociety’, ‘river-as-territory’, ‘river-as-subject’, and ‘river-as-movement’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1156
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • Environmental justice
  • disruptive co-production
  • hydrosocial territories
  • ontological complexity
  • river commoning
  • translocal movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Riverhood: political ecologies of socionature commoning and translocal struggles for water justice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this