U-STASIS: Urban Sanitation Technologies as International Power Structures
Project responsable Olivier Crevoisier
Team member Andri Brugger
Abstract Two billion people have to gain access to safe sanitation to achieve SDG6.2 by 2030. Absent and inadequate urban sanitation infrastructures (USI) are especially prevalent in unplanned, densely populated urban areas, where the cur-rent gold standard of flush toilets, large scale sewer networks and centralized treatment plants is not affordable. Yet, low-cost technologies and adaptive approaches have failed to scale.
Thus, the U-STASIS project asks why and how does USI fail to adapt to rapid urbanization in order to achieve SDG6.2?
Previous research has addressed the innovation system for USI, the national political economy under which USI is provided as well as goal setting as practice in global governance. Yet, the link between niches for innovation and the powerful interests preserving the gold standard has not been addressed nor the dynamics between national and international structures.
Against this backdrop, we take an international political economy approach to explain the persistence of sub-optimal institutional structures and technological solutions. Multilateral development banks are key intermediaries through funding, expertise, and project implementation, making them ideal entry points for research into global ambitions and local implementation realities. We develop an infrastructure specific framework of “sector guiding paradigms” and “mediating processes”, to identify and deconstruct the core bargains in USI, focusing on the co-evolution of dis-courses and technologies (WP1), the making of SDG6.2 (WP2), and its translation into USI projects (WP3).
The team brings together academic researchers, international and local organizations and combines expertise in inter-national political economy, global power, SDGs, urban sanitation, and interdisciplinary research.
Keywords International Political Economy, Multilateral Development Banks, SDG, SDG6, Sanitation, Urban, Infrastructure
Type of project Fundamental research project
Research area Sociology
Method of financing SNIS - Swiss Network for International Studies
Status Ongoing
Start of project 1-10-2020
End of project 1-10-2022
Overall budget 265'000
Contact Andri Brugger