Politics of Water Sustainability on the Arabian Peninsula

Water Lecture Series

Steven C. Caton, Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Moderator: Sharmila L. Murthy, Fellow in the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School of Government

This talk will examine the politics of water sustainability in three different eco-systems—oasis, coast, and highlands—of the Arabian Peninsula and how these are connected to very different kinds of state regimes and development histories. Some lessons for development and sustainable water use will be drawn.

Lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4:45 pm, and lecture begins at 5 p.m.

Selected Readings

Water Sustainability: Anthropological Approaches and Prospects," Ben Orlove and Steven C. Caton, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2010, 39: 401-415.

Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation, Steven C. Caton, Hill and Wang, New York, 2006.

Lawrence of Arabia: A Film's Anthropology, Steven C. Caton, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999.

The Radcliffe Institute is hosting a new cross-disciplinary speaker series by Harvard faculty on topics related to water. These will be relatively informal presentations, followed by discussion with attendees, on topics that approach water from multidisciplinary perspectives. The collegial events are intended to present, and potentially to link, faculty interests, in order to learn more about research currently underway and to foster connections across Harvard schools.

The talks will focus on both national and international topics. They may include issues of water policy, treatment and management, technology, water and migration, water and religion, urban planning, hydrology, water and business, art and water, environmental law, public health and disease, water and conflict, land-use, economic growth, history, etc. The speaker series is designed to be multidisciplinary rather than solely scientific and to complement other offerings throughout the University.