Putting a Price Tag on Human Rights. An Anthropological Perspective on Nestle’s Drinking Water Privatisation in Pakistan

Julia Winschewski

In the 21st century, the time of globalisation, capitalism and rising populations, resources are running low and for many rural communities, natural resource exploitations and therefore insecurities become a real danger. Due to the groundwater exploitation in Pakistan, dwells in small villages dry out or become inaccessible to the local inhabitants, which forces them to drink polluted surface water in order to survive. Having to drink polluted surface water results in rising number of diseases in these areas. With the help of Critical Discourse Analysis, this essay aims to analyse the power relations and interconnectedness of the different discourse partakers’ lines of argumentations on the privatisation of natural resources by applying Foucauldian Perspective to the given context. The lines of argumentation will be explored on behalf of the example of Nestle’s drinking water privatisation practices in Pakistan. Firstly, it will provide a short introduction of the anthropological perspective on resource insecurities. To adequately analyse the discourse, following questions will be taken into consideration: Can water be considered as a human right? What is an anthropological perspective on resource insecurities? How is the current drinking water situation in Pakistan? How is Nestle privatising ground water in Pakistan and what are the consequences for the native inhabitants? How are CEO’s, NGO’s, activists, locals and governments reacting to this situation? How can power relations between these actors be uncovered and how do different partakers position themselves in a social context? Conclusively, this essay will take an outlook on possible solutions that are being proposed by different respective actors, such as environmental activists, governments and corporations. It is hoped that this essay will give readers a general overview on the current situation and practices of resource privatisation seen from both an anthropological and an analytical perspective.
Słowa kluczowe: Nestle, Pakistan, drinking water, privatisation of natural resources, pure life, human rights.

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