Conference Call

The objectives of this international conference are to identify, within a comparative perspective, the evolution of social science research on the water sector in the Americas, from the South to the North; to emphasize theoretical and methodological developments in the analysis of the sector; and to gain an understanding of the original contributions of the social sciences to current debates on the subject.

First, an analysis will be made of the evolution of approaches taken to the water sector in the social sciences, and the place of research on the Americas within those approaches. Thinking about water as a scientific object – a resource, a service, a legacy, a common good, an economic good, an environmental factor, a club – and about the specific issues by which it is affected, will make it possible to examine current problematics in the Americas.

Second, an analysis will be made of the fields of research that have emerged over the course of the last few years, and of the conditions in which they have arisen. On the one hand, innovative analytical tools and methodologies will be presented, and, on the other, similarities between the cases studied will be identified with a view to isolating characteristics specific to the region and the elements of reflection they offer international research.

The Scientific Committee will consider contributions from all social science disciplines presenting original approaches that deliver advances in scientific knowledge. The kind of papers we are looking for will feature analyses of alternative approaches to water management, and new approaches to scientific research (participatory, audiovisual, collaborative). Below, a number of themes are listed with a view to providing guidance to prospective contributors:

  • The evolution of policy, techniques, and forms of distribution in the water sector.
  • Issues of access to water and the right to water (legal pluralism, rights of indigenous peoples).
  • Water usages, representations, beliefs (health, technical expertise, etc.).
  • Territories and urban water management: a multiplicity of actors and practices.  

In the perspective of developing or strengthening collective research networks, the Scientific Committee will focus on multi-disciplinary proposals for papers presented by several researchers. Based on the proposals received, the Scientific Committee will decide on subjects of reflection and discussion in the individual sessions of the conference.

Papers will be presented in French, Spanish and English. To facilitate understanding and exchange of ideas and information, visual media (PowerPoint presentations) will be in English. Papers will be submitted a month before the conference in order to facilitate the publication of the acts of the conference.

Submitting papers

Researchers interested in participating in the conference are invited to submit a one page abstract in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese by June 15, 2018 to The file sent must be in .pdf format, named as follows: EauAmériques_Surname_Forename.

Authors whose papers are accepted by the Scientific Committee will be informed in early August and will submit their completed communications by December 1, 2018.