Social Anthropology Seminar: Life in Debt / Debt to Life: Water Insurgencies in Europe
The paper tracks two forms of debt that conflict at the volatile edge of the financial frontier: A debt to water as life that movements articulate as they defend water as a common good, versus the indebted life that arises out of the appropriation of financial value from vital urban infrastructures through municipal debt financing. As neoliberalism reconfigures the relationship between debt and life, and as investors make claims on the infrastructural future of cities, water movements have pushed back at the expanding financial frontier and articulated a very different quality and temporality of value.
Short biography: Andrea Muehlebach is a Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at the University of Bremen, Germany. A political and economic anthropologist, she is the author of "The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy" (Chicago, 2012). Her forthcoming book is entitled "A Vital Frontier: Water Insurgencies in Europe" (Duke UP, 2023).
- Andrea Muehlebach, University of Bremen