Tyler Rak | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Name: Tyler Rak
Title: Crossing the Rubicon: Brazilian Water Access from Public Provision to Privatization
Major: Political Science; history
Minor: Religious studies; South Asian studies
Pathway: Digital and Visual Storytelling
Advisor: Dr. Katherine Holt and Dr. Matthew Krain

This thesis focuses on the impact privatization has on water access between two cities in Brazil. The goal of this research is to determine if privatization impacts access to water which could help states address water scarcity and access issues in the future. I hypothesize that an increase in privatization will increase water access for higher income individuals but will have little impact on lower income individuals. This hypothesis is tested by utilizing a comparative case study approach which will allow me to compare one state that has partially privatized, Campo Grande, and one state that has not privatized, Goiânia. In order to contextualize this research, I engaged in an examination of historical literature surrounding the topics of land and water access in Brazil before turning to a primary source analysis which studied rhetoric surrounding privatization in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Data was gathered by analyzing government records, on the ground interviews, legal documents, scientific studies, NGO research, and news archives. My findings indicate that the private company, AG in Campo
Grande, provide better access to water than Saneago in Goiânia on three of the four criteria studied, with little difference noted on the first, quantity, criterion. This research should prove beneficial for scholars and governments questioning the impacts of privatization and provides a framework to study water access.


Posted in Symposium 2024 on April 19, 2024.

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Related Areas of Study

South Asian Studies

One of the few programs in the country dedicated to the history and culture of South Asia


Religious Studies

An interdisciplinary, academic approach to the study of religion that includes history, art, theology, and more.

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Political Science

The study of power, with concentrations in U.S. politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics.

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Critically examine events and societies of the past and learn to tell the stories future generations need to know

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