I am an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Bergamo in Italy, which I joined in 2021. My research draws on political ecology, political geography, and development studies to advance an innovative approach to the study of water politics, particularly in relation to hydraulic infrastructure, thus developing three main and interrelated themes. The first theme relates to issues of scale, our understanding of the ‘political’, and the tensions between physical and ‘manufactured’ water scarcity. The second looks at how nationalism studies and matters related to the formation of a national identity can provide an explanation of water conflicts at the global level. The third theme focuses on global water governance, global water networks and critical sustainability studies.
At the moment, my main writing project is a book on the contradictions of water governance that will be published by Verso in 2023. The book is a critical analysis of the neoliberalised, pseudo-religious, technocratic solutionism deployed to ‘fix’ the global water crisis — a solutionism that re-entrenches the very inequalities, exploitation and developmentalism it promises to overcome.
I have published articles on these topics in a wide range of academic journals, including Political Geography, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, Area, Geoforum, Nationalities Papers, Water Alternatives, the Journal of Political Ecology, Ecology and Society, Water Policy, Development and Change. I am the author of Power and Water in Central Asia (Routledge), and co-editor (with Erik Swyngedouw), of Water, Technology and the Nation-State (Earthscan).
From 2017 to 2021 I was Lecturer (until 2019) and then Associate Professor of Human Geography at the University of Reading in Great Britain, where I also led the Human Geography Research Cluster (2019-2020), and I am currently a Visiting Research Fellow. Prior to joining the University of Reading I was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship at the Department of Geography of the University of Manchester, where I carried out the project “Dam-nations? A study on dams, nation-building and transboundary water relations through case studies from Ethiopia and Tajikistan” (DAM-NET, 2015-2017, €183,455). I also held research and teaching positions at Oxford Brookes University, Tallinn University, the University of St Andrews, and King’s College London. Prior to my doctoral studies at the University of Cagliari (Italy), I worked, among others, as a UN Fellow for the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
I am Associate Editor of Political Geography (since 2017) and I sit on the editorial board of the journals Global Networks and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. I regularly act as a reviewer for a range of academic journals and research organisations including the European Commission Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Programme.
In 2018 I was awarded the Scopus Early Career Researcher UK Award 2018 (Elsevier/US-UK Fulbright Commission) in recognition of outstanding research in Social Sciences.
(last updated: August 2022)