Constitutionalising the Right to Water in Kenya and Slovenia: Domestic Drivers, Opportunity Structures, and Transnational Norm Entrepreneurs

New article by Mathea Loen and Siri Gloppen

The international norm development that in 2010 culminated with the UN Resolution on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation changed international law. To what extent did this influence the parallel legal developments evident in many national constitutions across the globe? This article analyses the mobilisation for a constitutional right to water and sanitation in Kenya and Slovenia, identifying the main national and transnational actors involved and assessing their significance for the processes of constitutionalising the right. By analysing two very different cases, tracing their constitutionalisation processes through analysis of archival material, the article provides multifaceted insights into processes of norm diffusion from international norm entrepreneurs to the national level and the agency of domestic actors and their opportunity structures. We find that although the outcomes of the processes in Kenya and Slovenia are similar in that both constitutions contain articles securing the right to water, the framing of the right differs. Furthermore, we conclude that while there is involvement of international actors in both cases, domestic pro-water activists and their normative and political opportunity structures are more important for understanding the successful constitutionalisation of the right to water and differences in the framing of the right.


The full article is openly accessible here.





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