Contextualising interstate disputes over Krishna waters: law, science and imperialism

by D'Souza, Radha

Abstract (Summary)
Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or available through Inter-Library Loan. This thesis contextualises the award of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal 1973 (modified in 1976) allocating the waters of the river Krishna between the States of Maharashtra Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in southern India pursuant to disputes between the States. As the inter-State disputes are located within spaces created by constitutional federalism within India; and as they arise out of 'development' as a global 'project' in the post-war era, the award offers a vantage point from where the wider generative structures for river basin development can be interrogated. The vantage point helps transcend the 'North-South' and state-citizen dichotomies within which water conflicts are generally located and offers a critical alternative analysis that locates the conflicts within the spaces created by the intersection and convergence of the 'colonial' and the 'post-Independence' historically and the 'international' and 'national' geographically. The properties and attributes of the generative structures for river basin development calls for, amongst other things, an interrogation of the post-war world order. The thesis argues that, for 'developing' countries with colonial histories, imperialism forms the generative structure for society and that it needs to be differentiated from capitalism, which though interrelated is not synonymous with imperialism. Imperialism as a generative structure for 'developing' societies creates distinctive nature-society-human relations that qualifies the nature of social agents in those societies. The thesis develops an alternative framework of analysis by interrogating the ontological, epistemological and sociological assumptions in social theory using critical realist insights. Several themes inform the framework of analysis developed in this thesis. They include the UN system as a structural umbrella for post-war monopoly capitalism and post-war imperialism of which the development 'project' and river basin projects are an integral part. The continuities in the nature of social contradictions of imperialism in the colonial and post-war eras are another. Law and science as the twin pillars that support the institutional framework for the post-war world order is the third. Concepts such as 'equitable apportionment' and formal equality of nation-states in law, and 'dependable yield' and river basin as a natural biophysical unit in science, and development planning that entail both law and science, are premised on a distinctive epistemology that fetishises post-war imperialism. By developing a methodologically more consistent theoretical framework, this thesis hopes to open up the space for better praxiology that integrates conflicts arising from river basin development with a wider emancipatory project against imperialism.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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