Water Wars: Environmental Sustainability, Economic Viability and Political Stability

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The need to procure and protect vital water resources has a profound impact on international conflict and cooperation. Water-sharing policies affect political stability, international security, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability. Yet hydropolitics is under-researched or dismissed as an issue of scarcity to be resolved by emerging technologies. The purpose of this research is to analyze the interconnectedness of politics, economics, environments, and societies in international water management. The research offers innovative strategies to prevent conflict and promote cooperation in international water disputes. This research uses multiple empirical methods to test variables such as institutional capacity, economic prosperity, technology transfer, energy use, hydroelectric production, water access, water use, regional or dyadic trade agreements, terms of trade, military expenditures, geopolitical proximity, ethnic fragmentation, perceived benefits of compromise and estimated costs of war in international water disputes. The study focuses on 41 countries within six major international river basins: the Nile, Zambezi, Parana, Amazon, Jordan, and Ganges. Multinomial Probit offers predictions on the likelihood of cooperation and conflict under specific political and economic conditions. Cross-Sectional Time Series (CSTS) regression presents the spatial and temporal dynamics of the variables. The main contribution of the research is to analyze negotiation strategies to promote cooperation in international river basins and international waters. The results indicate a strong correlation between political variables, economic variables, water sustainability variables, and international conflict. In sum, the research identifies the political and economic conditions in which countries use cooperation or conflict in international water disputes.

Keywords: Water, Hydropolitics, Environmental Sustainability, Economics, International Conflict and Cooperation
Stream: Environmental Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Jenny Kehl

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science 
Department of Public Policy and Administration, Rutgers University

Camden, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Kehl's research interests include international investment, hydropolitics and conflict resolution. Prof. Kehl teaches comparative politics and economic development at Rutgers University. For access to Dr. Kehl's research, data and publications, please contact jrkehl@camden.rutgers.edu.

Ref: S08P0110