Madelaine Moore
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The contestation of water grabs in the Republic of Ireland
in Water struggles as resistance to neoliberal capitalism
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In contrast to Australia, here the argument is that the focus on water as social reproduction infrastructure instead of socio-nature relations evolved into a broader critique of the state and related institutions, including representational democracy. Water as social reproduction and related infrastructure was understood as common, a collective right, and disarticulated from processes of capital accumulation. However, in this process, the limited capacity of the state to account for this right came into sharper focus: the state was disarticulated from the common good, no longer the provider of social services, but antagonist to the realisation of working-class interests. In the process of struggle, labour as emergent category included working-class communities, some trade unions, and left political parties. Moore concludes that the wave of contestation on the terrain of social reproduction that emerged following water charges continues to build on some of these claims and culminated in the 2020 election result and tensions that have emerged in the COVID-19 crisis.

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