The geography of water conflict and cooperation: internal pressures and international manifestations uri icon

abstract

  • Studies on transboundary water conflict and cooperation generally consider interstate relations over shared water resources as distinct from intrastate relations. While connections have been made between international water relations and regional relationships in general, it is conceivable that international water conflict and cooperation may also be influenced by domestic water events and vice versa. This paper seeks to investigate the dynamics of water interactions across geographic scale and their relationship to broader international affairs. The research approach involves the creation of an analytical framework for assessing possible linkages between external and internal interactions over freshwater resources. The framework is applied to three case studies - the Middle East, South Asia and Southern Africa - utilizing 'event data'. To validate the findings from the quantitative analyses, the results are compared with conventional qualitative understandings of water and overall relations in the three regions. The comparison demonstrates not only the efficacy of the analytical framework in general, but also highlights, at least in terms of the specific case studies selected, the disparate water dynamics across geographic regions and the importance of considering water events, both national and international, within larger political and historical contexts.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002
  • 2002