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Green and Grey: Water Justice, Criminalization, and Resistance

Critical Criminology

Published online on


Since its initial proposal in the 1990s, ‘green criminology’ has focused on environmental crimes and harms affecting non-human and human life, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole. Describing global trends toward privatization of water supply systems and the criminalization of several water conservation activities and tactics, this paper employs theoretical perspectives offered by green, cultural, and critical criminologies, focusing on overt resistance to water privatization and oppressive regulations governing rainwater storage and residential water recycling. Taking a critical theoretical perspective, this paper examines water access and autonomy, individuals and groups openly resisting the criminalization of household water reuse and storage, and the cultural significance of water. This paper concludes with an exploration of the potential benefits of a green cultural criminology.