Michael Webber is Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Melbourne. An economic geographer, his recent work has revolved around economic development in rural China (Making Capitalism in Rural China, Edward Elgar, 2012), most recently delving into the political economy of China’s water management. With Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson, and Mark Wang, he published Water Supply in a Mega-City: A Political Ecology Analysis of Shanghai (Edward Elgar, 2018) and with them, Sarah Rogers, Ian Rutherfurd, Chen Dan, and a group of graduate students, is engaged in a large project entitled ‘The Technopolitics of China’s South–North Water Transfer Project’.
Chinese academics and officials argue that the country must store water to overcome seasonal fluctuations and move water to rebalance regional differences in supply and demand. As well as supplying water, however, such projects protect the political and economic status of powerful municipalities, stimulate Chinese economic growth, and proclaim the power and administrative capacity of […]