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Abstract

The post-1980s have seen increasing struggles over rights to water. Water rights have involved intense protests and campaigns against privatization of water including bottling of water and advocacy for citizens control of water. We review scholarly work to focus on four main aspects: the complexities intertwining globalization processes, the state, and water rights; collective ownership of water resources; peoples’ participating in managing and using water; and the campaigns against privatization which have emerged in both the developing and developed world in different ways. The conclusion calls for adopting a social movement lens to examine the struggles for water rights by providing some lead research questions around the macro and micro level theoretical approaches.