Where rights overlap: the case of the human right to water and the right to the commons

When? 5pm CEST Thursday 23 June 2022

Where? Register to join this event on Zoom using the following link – https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqd-uhpzwrGNOe2kBXXqIvpz0d5yzvaCuE

This panel will highlight the distinct differences and similarities between the human right to water and the right to the commons. Furthermore, relying on practical, theoretical, and applied perspectives, this panel will offer insight into how these rights are connected at local, regional, and global levels. Each panelist will focus on a specific aspect of these rights, such as governance concerns, socio-cultural issues, and/or human conflict.


Peter Gleick

Dr. Peter Gleick is co-founder and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute in California, an independent research institute creating and advancing solutions to global water problems. Gleick is one of the world’s leading experts on freshwater resources and a hydroclimatologist focused on climate change, water and conflict, and the human right to water – work used by the UN and in human rights court cases. He pioneered the concepts of the “soft path for water” and “peak water” and has worked extensively on issues related to water and international security, including developing the Water Conflict Chronology, the comprehensive database of violence associated with freshwater resources and systems. Gleick is a MacArthur Fellow, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and winner of the 2018 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. He has a BS from Yale University, MS/PhD. from the University of California Berkeley. He is author of many scientific papers and thirteen books, including The World’s WaterseriesBottled and Sold, and A 21st Century US Water Policy.

Joyeeta Gupta

Joyeeta Gupta was co-chair of UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook-6 (2016-2019), published by Cambridge University Press, which was presented to governments participating in the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019, and won the Association of American Publishers PROSE award for Environmental Science. She is presently co-chair of the Earth Commission (2019-2022), set up by Future Earth, together with Johan Rockström and Dahe Qin.

She is full professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She is also the Faculty Professor on Sustainability (2019-2024). She leads the programme group on Governance and Inclusive Development. She was lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which won the Zaved Second Prize. She has published several books, is on the editorial board of seven journals, and has (co-)edited 14 Special Issues. Her Google Scholar Impact Factor is 51, with 120 journal papers and more than 10,000 citations. She has successfully supervised 18 PhDs and is currently supervising 24 PhD students in the areas of climate change, forest, food/fish, water and disaster governance as well as in development challenges such as food governance and child marriage. She has been on the scientific steering committees of international and national scientific programmes. At national level, she was the Vice-President of the Commission on Development Cooperation (2011-2019) and member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (2011-2019), a statutory body that advises three Cabinet Ministers in the Netherlands. She has just won an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million Euros for work on climate change and fossil fuels.

On water issues, Professor Gupta has been teaching water law and policy at IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft since 1989. She has co-edited the History of Water Law in 2009 and an Encyclopaedia of Water Law in 2021 with prof. Joseph Dellapenna. She has published extensively on water law and policy.

Madeline Baer

Madeline Baer is Associate Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College. Her research and teaching focuses on the global politics of water governance, water policy in Latin America, and states’ foreign policy on economic and social human rights. Her book Stemming the Tide: Human Rights and Water Policy in a Neoliberal World (Oxford University Press, 2017) explores the implications of defining access to water and sanitation services as human rights. Her work on water policy and human rights appears in Studies in Comparative International Development, the Journal of Human Rights, and Third World Quarterly, among others. Her current research explores changes to international law on economic and social human rights including the rights to food, water, housing, education, and health care.

Corinne M. Tagliarina

Corinne M. Tagliarina is the Director of the Human Rights Advocacy program at Utica University, where she also teaches Political Science, Geography, and Human Rights courses. Her research focuses on human rights policies, specifically the human right to water, and women’s rights. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut with the dissertation, The Confluence of Domestic and International Law in the Institutionalization of the Human Right to Water in 2018. Her co-authored book Bringing Human Rights Back: Embracing Human Rights as a Mechanism for Addressing Gaps in United States Law was published with Lexington in 2020.

Chris Jeffords (moderator)

Chris Jeffords is an Associate Teaching Professor of Economics at the Villanova School of Business. Jeffords obtained his PhD in 2012 in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut (UConn) where he remains a faculty affiliate of the Economic and Social Rights Group at the Human Rights Institute. He currently serves as an Assistant Editor at the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, an Associate Editor at the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, and as the Executive Secretary for the Association for Social Economics. His research has been published in outlets such as Ecological EconomicsKYKLOSSustainability and Climate Change, Empirical EconomicsGlobal Environmental PoliticsJournal of Environment and DevelopmentReview of Social Economy, Human Rights Quarterly, and Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, and in edited book volumes through Edward Elgar Press, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press. Jeffords recently founded and presently directs a monthly series of community-focused, science education conversations in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania called Science on Tap – Phoenixville.

Recommended Readings:

Peter H. Gleick, Global Freshwater Resources: Soft-Path Solutions for the 21st Century 302 Science (2003).

Peter H. Gleick, The Human Right to Water 1(5) Water Policy 487-503 (1999).

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