Joshua Greene






Bureau: 5209 Uni Mail

022-379 0980

Cel : 078 734 93 80

Email : joshua.greene(at)



Background:  With 10 years of experience working in anthropological investigations in Mexico, following 10 years working as a print journalist in the United States, Joshua Greene brings a critical approach to understanding development and its impact on the most vulnerable populations. As a journalist he examined the impacts of policy changes on society, using the voices of workers, residents, and excluded populations to tell the stories. In Mexico he worked on investigations evaluating the impact of poverty alleviation programs, agricultural subsidies, migration and community development projects. Greene uses mixed methodology merging quantitative and qualitative techniques, specializing in ethnographic participant observation following Van Velson’s (1979) “Extended Case Method and Situational Analysis.” As a member of the WATSIN team at the University of Geneva, his current research examines the human right to water and its intersection with the financial inclusion discourse, the struggles of everyday communities to access water in the face of monopolized water access, and the strategies and coping mechanisms utilized by these communities and individuals faced with these modernizing tendencies.  

Greene is also the director of a development project (Recuperacion de los Rios, 2014-) in Jalisco, Mexico, which brings water education and financial resources to small communities to provide access to drinking water and to construct low cost waste water treatment systems.

From 2012 through 2014 Greene worked as an assistant coordinator for bi-national negotiations between the United States and Mexico, for the LBJ School of Public Policy at UT-Austin’s Lower Rio Grand Water Quality Initiative Pilot Project. He helped organize four bi-national water modelling training sessions for agency administrators from both side of the border to work together to improve water quality in this river basin; he also supervised the completion of four large scale surveys of residents on both sides of the border, facilitated regular border negotiations for the International Boundary Water Association; filmed and completed the documentary “Financing of Water Infrastructure on the US-Mex. Border,” for the Border Environment Cooperation Commission; and produced the policy report: International Water Quality Management in the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo which was recognized for honorable mention by the Central Texas Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration in 2014. His thesis on water provision in Mexico was also recognized for an honorable mention for best thesis at the LBJ-School of Public Affairs in 2014.

Educational Background:

2014 MGPS LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.
Masters in Global Policy Studies with a specialization in Water and Development; Transboundary Water Management and Community Water Supply and Management; Thesis: The Bottled Water Industry in Mexico

1999 B.S. Print Journalism from Perry Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University.


Research Interests:

Changing relations between citizens and states and the new relationships between citizens and transnational corporations; Poverty; Inequality; Exclusion; Sociology of Development; Migration; Resource Depletion; Ecological Economics; and Water: the Right to Water, Water Access, Alternative Water Treatment, Traditional Relationships with Water and Water Knowledge; Political Economy of Water; Political Ecology of Water, Commodification of Water, Water Conflicts and Water Peace.


2017; “From Mexico to Hawaii: Tracing the Migration History of One Family in Esperanza, Jalisco,” Ch. 3 in Eds. Bryan Roberts, Menjivar, Cecilia, Nester Rodgriguez; Deportation and Return in a Border-Restricted World: Experiences in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Springer.

Whether a migrant’s journey is considered a success or a failure, the decision to return home often implies returning to difficult economic conditions. In the cases of migrants from rural villages, they may well return to the same precarious circumstances that compelled them to leave in the first place. The chapter discusses this phenomenon through the presentation of a traditional sending village in rural Central-Western Mexico where residents have a long established relationship with the tourism industry in Hawaii. In tracing the origins of this relationship, anthropological techniques of extended case studies and situational analysis were used to document one family’s five-generational migration history, spanning from 1878 to the present. The patterns coaxed out of this rich data show how a single family developed networks intimately linking this isolated rural village to Hawaii. These findings are shown through the contrasts in the cases of two brothers who have returned to the village and the diverse tactics they employ in order to get by. They, like many residents in the village, have returned after multiple trips illegally crossing into the United States, hoping to live out a dream of idyllic farming only to rediscover that small-scale agriculture is uncompetitive in a globalized marketplace.

2015: “Juggling Currencies in Trans/Border Contexts: Final Report” Co-authored with Magdalena Villarreal and Lya Niño for the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California at Irvine. %20Final%20Report%20.pdf

This report shows how people living in border contexts, managing multiple currencies, both monetary and social, multiple normative structures, and multiple languages manage and experience these diverse frameworks. The study is anthropological in nature and wraps up a year of field work carried out for the IMTFI.

Conference Papers:
“Microfinance for water access – who’s responsible for inclusion?” Co-authored with Dr. Morvant-Roux, Philip Mader and Catherine Baron. Presented at the Int. Con. for Research and Development Bern, 2017.

“Small Water Producers in Monopolized Bottled Water Markets: New Nested Markets,” accepted for the 2017 Conference in Political Economy in Berlin (not presented due to cancelled flights).

“Recuperación de los Ríos” presented at the “The Political Ecology of Economic and Natural Resources in Mexico: Understanding People’s Efforts to Curtail Poverty, Pollution and Scarcity,” session at The International Conference for Political Ecologies of Conflict, Capitalism and Contestation, 2016 in Wageningen, NL.