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Water Politics

  • By: Karim Makdisi
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Water politics refers to the multifaceted relationship between the availability and use by humans of increasingly scarce water resources on the one hand, and political processes and power relationships on the other. The study of water politics (also known as hydropolitics) has traditionally been viewed within the prism of interstate conflict and cooperation over water resources that transcend international borders. The debate over potential “water wars” between riparian states, for instance, has loomed large in the literature, countered by analyses detailing institutional mechanisms and international legal principles that induce cooperation and win-win situations between states such as the Nile Basin Initiative and the Mekong River Commission. However, other water politics–related areas such as the environment, expanded conceptions of security, and society and culture have increasingly ...

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