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Roundtable 3: Access to water and energy – accommodating social justice, security, and sustainability

16.00-17.30, October 7

Participants: Christian Brethaut (University of Geneva); Cristina Corduneanu-Huci (CEU/DI); Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester); Guntra Aistara (CEU)
Moderator: Eva Fodor (DI/CEU)

Performance of democratic versus authoritarian systems can be measured in part in relation to equitable access to resources such as water and energy.  The water-energy nexus is particularly instructive in how tradeoffs relate to distributive justice issues. Debating access to water and energy points well beyond environmental concerns: it pits the allocative efficiencies of markets against claims of social justice, it problematizes the status of public goods, it opens a debate about climate change, the status of science and the role of water and energy in domestic and international conflicts.

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About the speakers:
Christian Brethaut
Christian Bréthaut is Scientific Director at the Geneva Water Hub. Christian Bréthaut joined the Geneva Water Hub in 2014. He is the Head of the component education and knowledge of the Geneva Water Hub. He is also Co-Director of the UNESCO Chair in hydropolitics of the University of Geneva. Bréthaut holds a PhD in Geosciences and Environment from the University of Lausanne. His research is focusing on environmental governance and policy, and more particularly, on water. He is passionate about transboundary water governance, the nexus water-food-energy and governance of common goods. 
Cristina Corduneanu-Huci
Cristina Corduneanu-Huci is an Associate Professor of the Department of Public Policy at CEU and an affiliate of CEU Democracy Institute. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Duke University and was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at European University Institute. Cristina has written on autocratic politics, clientelism, bureaucratic reform, government transparency and international development. Her work explores the complex relationship between collective action, information, and economic outcomes.  She has also conducted political economy research and training for the World Bank in Washington, DC. At CEU, Cristina teaches courses on governance and the political economy of development. 
Erik Swyngedouw

Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at The University of Manchester, UK. His was previously Professor of Geography at Oxford University and held the Vincent Wright Visiting Professorship at Science Po, Paris, 2014. Erik Swyngedouw also holds Honorary Doctorates from Roskilde University in Denmark and the University of Malmö in Sweden. His research focuses on political ecology, environmental politics, democratization, urbanization, politicization, and socio-ecological movements. He is author of, among others, Urban Political Ecology in the Anthropo-Obscene: Political Interruptions and Possibilities (edited with Dr. H. Ernstson, Routledge), Promises of the Political: Insurgent Cities in a Post-Democratic Environment (MIT Press), Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities in 20th Century Spain (MIT Press) and Social Power and the Urbanization of Nature (Oxford University Press). 

Guntra Aistara
Guntra Aistara is an environmental anthropologist whose research lies at the intersection of political ecology, food sovereignty, and environmental justice.  Guntra Aistara is Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. She holds a PhD from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is co-founder of the Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group, and a core member of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative. Her research interests include organic agriculture movements, agrobiodiversity and seed sovereignty, agroecology, permaculture, culinary heritage revivals, multi-species ethnography, and socio-ecological resilience of local food systems. She wrote Organic Sovereignties: Struggles over Farming in an Age of Free Trade and is co-editor and contributing author in the book The Ecolaboratory: Environmental Governance and Economic Development in Costa Rica.  
Eva Fodor
Eva Fodor is Professor of Gender Studies and is currently the Co-Director of the CEU Democracy Institute. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology and works in the field of comparative social inequalities. She is interested in how and why gender differences in the labor market and the welfare state are constructed and reconstructed in different societies.  Her first book, “Working Difference: Women's Working Lives in Hungary and Austria, 1945-1995" (Duke UP, 2003) compares the organizing principles and everyday practices of state socialist and capitalist gender regimes.   Other research includes gender differences in poverty in post-communist EU countries, the motherhood penalty in CEE labor markets and the impact of COVID-19 in the division of care work. 

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