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The bio-financialization of Irish Water: New advances in the neoliberalization of vital services

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  • Bresnihan, Patrick

Abstract

This paper examines ongoing efforts to establish a new semi-state, commercial water utility in Ireland. The new utility, Irish Water, marks a significant break with the previous public service model of water and wastewater provision both in terms of how it is financed and how it is governed. The Irish government asserts that these reforms are a necessary response to the twin challenges of an aging water infrastructure and the fiscal challenges of the Irish state. In this paper I outline how the convergence of these environmental and financial demands are provoking new advances in the neoliberalization of water services. I argue that the organizational and technical composition of Irish Water suggests the extension of both financial logics and highly technical environmental metrics into the water sector, what I call the process of bio-financialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Bresnihan, Patrick, 2016. "The bio-financialization of Irish Water: New advances in the neoliberalization of vital services," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 115-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:40:y:2016:i:c:p:115-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2015.11.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Bio-financialization; Water; Neoliberalism;

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