Academic Background

I am a human geographer with an interdisciplinary background in environment and development and a regional specialism in Latin America.  The overall aim of my work is to engage political ecology to understand the nature and dynamics of socio-ecological change in the global South and its relationship with poverty and social exclusion.  Much of my work focuses on water politics and governance.

I hold a MA (Hons) in Hispanic Studies from the University of Glasgow, a MSc in Environmental Issues in Latin America from the University of London, and a DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford.  I joined UEA in 2013 with 18 years’ experience of academic and policy research, five of which have been spent in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru), including internships at INPA in Brazil and ECLAC in Chile.  I am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and publish my work in these languages where possible in order to reach Latin American audiences.  I also have field experience in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.

Before joining UEA, I was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Geography and Development Studies at the University of Manchester, and a Lecturer in the Geography Departments at the Open University and the University of Reading. 

At UEA, I am a member of the UEA Water Security Research Centre, for which I served as Director from 2014 to 2017, and co-Director of the DEV PhD programme. 

I am a core member of the team developing and delivering the BA Geography and International Development.  I convene and teach the main part of the following modules:

  • Introduction to Human Geography (DEV-4007B)
  • Human Geography Field Course to Chile (DEV-5016B)
  • Political Ecology (DEV-7033B)

I also teach on the following modules:

  • Urban Geographies (DEV-6010B)
  • Water Security: Tools and Policy (DEV-7041B)

I supervise undergraduate and master's dissertations in areas related to the above modules.

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students with interests in one or more of the following: socio-ecological change, poverty and development, political ecology, water resources, extractive industries, hydroelectric power, urban informal settlements (especially water and sanitation), interdisciplinary social-natural science environmental studies, Latin America. 

Completed PhD students:

Daniela Sánchez, 'Mineral Extraction in a Plurinational State: Commodification and Resource Governance of the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia', UEA, 2013-17

Jim McGinlay, ‘Policy and Practice in the Conservation of Floodplain Meadows in England’, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems and Department of Geography, The Open University, 2009-13 (now research fellow at Cranfield University)

Jean Carlo Rodríguez de Francisco, ‘Power, Peasant Livelihoods and Payment for Watershed Environmental Services in the Andes’, Irrigation and Water Engineering Group, Wageningen University, 2009-13 (now researcher at German Development Institute)

All Publications

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Jepson, W., Budds, J., Eichelberger, L., Harris, L., Norman, E., O'Reilly, K., Pearson, A., Shah, S., Shinn, J., Staddon, C., Stoler, J., Wutich, A., Young, S.

(2017)

Advancing human capabilities for water security: A relational approach,

in Water Security

1

pp. 46–52

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G., Budds, J.

(2017)

The threat of abandonment in socio-ecological landscapes: farmers' motivations and perspectives on high nature value grassland conservation,

in Environmental Science & Policy

69

pp. 39-49

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G., Budds, J.

(2016)

Conserving socio-ecological landscapes: An analysis of traditional and responsive management practices for floodplain meadows in England,

in Environmental Science and Policy

66

pp. 234–241

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Loftus, A., Budds, J.

(2016)

Neoliberalizing water,

in The Handbook of Neoliberalism.

Routledge

ISBN 9781138844001

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Rodríguez de Francisco, J. C., Budds, J.

(2015)

Payments for environmental services and control over natural resources: The role of public and private sectors in the conservation of the Nima watershed, Colombia,

in Ecological Economics

117

pp. 295-302

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ahlers, R., Budds, J., Joshi, D., Merme., V., Zwarteveen, M.

(2015)

Framing hydropower as green energy: assessing drivers, risks and tensions in the Eastern Himalayas,

in Earth System Dynamics

6

(1)

pp. 195-204

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2015)

The Expansion of Mining and Changing Waterscapes in the Southern Peruvian Andes,

in Negotiating Water Governance : Why the Politics of Scale Matter.

Routledge

ISBN 9781409467908

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Few, R., Satyal, P., McGahey, D., Leavy, J., Budds, J., Assen, M., Camfield, L., Loubser, D., Adnew, M., Bewket, W.

(2015)

Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Semi-Arid Areas in East Africa,

ASSAR Project Management Unit

(Commissioned report)

(Published)


Linton, J., Budds, J.

(2014)

The hydrosocial cycle: Defining and mobilizing a relational-dialectical approach to water,

in Geoforum

57

pp. 170-180

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Budds, J., Linton, J., McDonnell, R.

(2014)

The hydrosocial cycle,

in Geoforum

57

pp. 167-169

Full Text

(Editorial)

(Published)


Budds, J., Loftus, A.

(2014)

Water and hydropolitics,

in The Companion to Development Studies.

Routledge

ISBN 9781444167245, 9780415826655

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2014)

Acceso al agua y justicia hídrica: Un análisis de las relaciones de poder entre Southern Copper Corporation y comunidades rurales en Moquegua y Tacna, Perú,

in Minería, Agua y Justicia Ambiental en los Andes : Experiencias Comparativas de Bolivia y Perú.

IEP and Plural

ISBN 978-612-4121-11-1

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2013)

Water, power and the production of neoliberalism in Chile, 1973-2005,

in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

31

(2)

pp. 301-318

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Budds, J., Sultana, F.

(2013)

Exploring political ecologies of water and development,

in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

31

(2)

pp. 275-279

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2013)

Chilean water markets: history, politics and empirical outcomes,

in Water Resources Policies in South Asia.

Routledge

pp. 247-266

ISBN 978-0415811989

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Rodriguez de Francisco, J. C., Budds, J., Boelens, R.

(2013)

Payment for environmental services and unequal resource control in Pimampiro, Ecuador,

in Society and Natural Resources

26

(10)

pp. 1217-1233

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hinojosa, L., Budds, J.

(2013)

Mecanismos de acceso y control del agua en el contexto minero del sur peruano,

in Aguas Robadas : Despojo Hídrico y Movilización Social.

Fondo Editorial

ISBN 9789942091543

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2013)

Servicios ambientales y justicia hídrica,

in Aguas Robadas : Despojo Hídrico y Movilización Social.

Fondo Editorial

ISBN 9789942091543

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Budds, J.

(2012)

La demanda, evaluación y asignación del agua en el contexto de escasez: Un análisis del ciclo hidrosocial del valle del río La Ligua, Chile,

in Revista de Geografía Norte Grande

52

(1)

pp. 167-184

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Budds, J., Hinojosa, L.

(2012)

Las industrias extractivas y los paisajes hídricos en transición en los países andinos: Análisis de la gobernanza de recursos y formación de territorios en Perú,

in Agua, Injusticia y Conflictos.

Fondo Editorial

ISBN 978-612-4121-05-0

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

My research explores how power relations produce and reproduce socio-ecological change in the global South with implications for the lives, livelihoods, landscapes and identities of low-income and/or marginalised social groups. I’m interested in both the material and discursive dimensions of these dynamics, especially as they relate to processes and discourses of development, as well as how they operate over different spatial and temporal scales.

Much of this work has been pursued through a focus on water management and governance. An important aspect of my work has been to reposition technical approaches to water issues as inherently political, and to elucidate the politics and power relations bound up in patterns of water allocation and use, water infrastructure and technologies, water governance frameworks and debates over water resources and issues.

My work currently comprises three principal themes:

First, I have critically examined the application of ‘neoliberal’ strategies to water management and its implications for low-income groups and local ecologies. I have analysed urban water privatisation in the global South (with Gordon McGranahan from IDS), water rights markets in Chile, and payments for watershed services schemes in the Andean region. I have argued that these market-based approaches are promoted on the basis of more efficient resource management and benefits to the poor, yet in practice it is the poorest and most marginalised water users who are disadvantaged by these policies.  Work in this field continues primarily in relation to Chile's Water Code and its outcomes for water availability and distribution among fresh fruit producers in the La Ligua river basin.

My research on water rights in the context of the avocado production in Chile has been featured by DanWatch, and Vogue magazine.


Second, I am interested in critical approaches to environmental knowledge that draw on debates around social nature from political ecology and science studies. My entry into this area has been through an analysis of the politics of hydrology and its application. I have extended this work to engage in developing, with Jamie Linton (Université de Limoges), the concept of the ‘hydrosocial cycle’ to think about how water embeds and reflects power relations, and how water and society shape and reshape each other over space and time. I have also worked on a critique of the society-nature dualism inherent within the dominant conceptualisation of ecosystem services, in collaboration with Margreet Zwarteveen (UNESCO-IHE).  Current work continues theorisation and application of the hydrosocial cycle, with Jamie Linton and Alex Loftus (King's College London), and a critical and relational approach to water security with Wendy Jepson (Texas A&M University) and others. 

Third, I have examined the implications of the increased demand for water for the expanding mining industry in the Andean region, focusing on the case of Peru. In Peru, meeting growing demand for water for mining is a key challenge and source of conflict, because natural supplies are limited, most existing resources are in use, and some local (Quechua and Aymara) people are strongly opposed to the use of water for mining. However, rather than regarding water solely as a resource that is an input to, or impacted by, mining, I have examined how the social relations of control over water in relation to mineral extraction are reshaping waterscapes in Peru, and in the Andean highlands in particular. Based on qualitative work in Lima and the arid far south of Peru, where several large copper mines are operating, starting production, or being planned, I have analysed how mining influences water (re)allocation and basin transfers, policy and governance arrangements, the construction of large infrastructure, and discourses about water use and management, but also the ways in which water has shaped debates and practices around mining in the country.

In 2011, my research on water and mining in the Andes was featured in an edition of BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth programme, entitled ‘Gold of the Conquistadors’.


I served as Director of the UEA Water Security Research Centre from 2014 to 2017.

External research funding

 

British Academy Newton Fund Mobility Grant, Securing Water for Megacities: An Analysis of Water Governance and Scarcity in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region, Co-Investigator, Universidade Federal do ABC, 2015-17.

IDRC/DFID, Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia, Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions, Co-Investigator, University of Cape Town, 2014-18.

NWO/DFID, Collaboration or Conflict in Management of Climate Change, Hydropower Development in the Context of Climate Change: Exploring Conflicts and Fostering Collaboration across Scales and Boundaries in the Eastern Himalayas, Co-Investigator, Wageningen University, 2014-18.

NWO/DFID, Collaboration or Conflict in Management of Climate Change Programme, Proposal development workshop grant, Scalar Politics and Wicked Problems: How Climate Change Mediates Conflicts and Solidarities around Hydropower, Water and Development in the Eastern Himalayas, Co-Investigator, Wageningen University, 2012-13.

ESRC First Grant, The Political Ecology of Extractive Industries and Changing Waterscapes in the Andes, Principal Investigator, The Open University / University of Reading, 2010-12.

ESRC/NERC/DFID Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Programme, Partnership and Project Development Grant, Understanding and Managing Watershed Services in Andean and Amazonian Catchments, Lead Principal Investigator, The Open University and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2010-11.

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Political Ecology of Water and Uneven Development in Latin America, University of Manchester, 2006.

ESRC/NERC PhD studentship, The Political Ecology of Water Privatisation in Latin America: Water Rights Markets in Chile, University of Oxford, 2001-2004. 

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

Editorial Advisory Board, Environment and Urbanization

ESRC Peer Review College

Member, International Waters Network

Member, Household Water Insecurity Experiences Network

External Examiner, International Development, Nottingham Trent University

 

 

Administrative Posts

Director, UEA Water Security Research Centre, 2014-17

Co-Director, DEV PhD Programme, 2014-