Markets for Resilience or “Disaster Capitalism”?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a major donor and norm-setter in global water governance. Its research programme “Studies on Water” has produced fifty-three long policy reports since 2009.  To better understand how the OECD frames the role of the transnational private sector in the Global South’s water governance, these reports need to be examined. How does the OECD manage tensions between advocacy for active private sector participation (PSP) and well-established evidence of fraught outcomes of PSP in practice? How does the OECD manage tensions between an apparent self-interest in promoting the OECD-based private sector and advocating for good water governance?

What are we trying to achieve and how?  

Through innovative integration of qualitative critical discourse analysis and quantitative topic modelling, we identify key topics and actors, their networks, vocabulary choices and inter-textuality. This approach, as well as a comparative examination of 12 UN Water publications (2003-2021), will offer key critical insight into the OECD’s discourse.

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