Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > ‘Our humanism cannot be captured in the bylaws’


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

‘Our humanism cannot be captured in the bylaws’: How moral ecological rationalities and care shape a smallholder irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)2761 - 2780
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/11/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article, we bring concepts of institutional bricolage, moral ecological rationalities and care into engagement, to explain the everyday management of an irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe. In doing this we: (a) emphasise the constant processes of bricolage through which irrigators adapt to changing circumstances and dynamically enact irrigation management; (b) illustrate some of the key features of the contemporary, hybridised moral-ecological rationalities that shape these processes of bricolage; (c) show how motivations to care (for people, the environment and infrastructure) as well as to control shape the bricolaged management arrangements. Through this approach, we aim to contribute to expanding ways of thinking about rationalities, including those that express the aspiration to live well together with human and non-human others, including water and infrastructure. The focus on moral-ecological rationalities is central to our contribution to critical water studies. This sheds light on actual practices of governing water and relationships between society-water/people and the environment. In so doing it helps us to understand the possibilities of caring for natural resources.