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Bronwen Morgan

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Argentina; Bolivia; Chile; globalisation; globalization; Regulation; water


This paper explores one particular dimension of broader global policy issues concerning water resources: the regulatory governance aspect of delivering water services to ordinary citizens in urban contexts for domestic use. Water provision, as with many other areas of collective provision, is increasingly shaped by attempts to embed social facets into the expansion of transnational markets: part of the incremental growth of 'globalisation with a human face'. The paper first summarises nascent transnational institutional developments in policymaking and provision around urban water services delivery. It stresses that this process is still heavily dependent on national and local state institutions, particularly domestic regulatory institutions. The paper then elaborates a theoretical framework frames empirical findings from case studies of the regulatory governance of water services in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina during the 1990s and early 2000s. These case studies illustrate how transnational dynamics create a regulatory intersection of social policy and global governance. This pattern could be emblematic of potential trajectories of transnational regulatory politics in areas beyond water (most obviously other public utilities such as gas and electricity, but also health and education).