Re-Framing Transboundary Water Politics:What Really Matters for effective diplomacyBuilding the Water Agenda:Policy respon...
What Matters?POWER matters   good analysis must incorporate    interventions must confrontNORMS matter   interventions ...
1Some helpful theorya) Politics driving water interactionb) Cooperation & Powerc) Levelling
1a) Politics driving water interaction    ‘Environmental Determinism’:                        - Western-centric    Water c...
1b) Cooperation      Cooperation is poorly theorised, or understood                                             either Con...
1b) Cooperation                              BUT Dataset quality and interpretation issues…                              ...
1b) Power        Power asymmetry is              … but can be used to lead        a fact of life…                 or to do...
1b) Power + Cooperation           Not all cooperation is pretty    [link]  ‘Hegemon’s prerogative’:   Selective policy en...
1b) Power + Cooperation              Effective diplomacy requires:    ‘Cooperation’to be evaluated in the specific politi...
1c) Levelling    Level the players    e.g. Capacity-building            especially negotiations and lawyers           (n...
2Tigris & Euphrates
Tigris and Euphrates                   Turkey                                     SyriaDevelopment context:- Abstractions ...
3Policy Responses
Policy Responses    (last slide!)1. Ask who says Power and Norms do NOT matter (i.e. who benefits from status quo)?POWER m...
ReferencesKalbhenn A and Bernaeur T forthcoming International Water Cooperation and Conflict: A New Events Dataset.Mirumac...
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Zeitoun - What Matters for Effective Transboundary Water Diplomacy

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Zeitoun - What Matters for Effective Transboundary Water Diplomacy

  1. 1. Re-Framing Transboundary Water Politics:What Really Matters for effective diplomacyBuilding the Water Agenda:Policy responses to scarcity and shockChatham House, 9-10 July 2012 Mark Zeitoun Water Security Research Centre University of East Anglia m.zeitoun@uea.ac.uk
  2. 2. What Matters?POWER matters  good analysis must incorporate  interventions must confrontNORMS matter  interventions require a benchmark 1. Some helpful theory 2. Tigris and Euprhrates 3. Policy responses
  3. 3. 1Some helpful theorya) Politics driving water interactionb) Cooperation & Powerc) Levelling
  4. 4. 1a) Politics driving water interaction ‘Environmental Determinism’: - Western-centric Water can lead to peace - ignores / wishes away politics We can learn from North America and Europe - liberal assumptions about power and equality  environmental peacemaking - little evidence of success  supposedly apolitical interventions, in very political contexts ‘Political Economy / Ecology’: Water and society co-produced (Physical and Social water scarcity) Water is subordinate to larger forces (ideological, political, economic)  enhancement of classic politics, diplomacy, international relations  + look ‘outside the box’ at economics, finance, food trade (i.e. the nexus)  learn from mistakes made in other basins
  5. 5. 1b) Cooperation Cooperation is poorly theorised, or understood either Conflict or Cooperation Wolf (2007)
  6. 6. 1b) Cooperation BUT Dataset quality and interpretation issues… Kalbhenn (forthcoming) ‘TWINS’ Conflict and cooperation co-exist Mirumachi (2007) Liberal interpretation of ‘cooperation’ Cooperative efforts can be part of the problem (teaties on Jordan and Ganges) – because of power
  7. 7. 1b) Power Power asymmetry is … but can be used to lead a fact of life… or to dominate. a ‘fact of life’ Forms of Power: Hard Power (upstream position, military, economy) Soft Power (ideology, allies, discourse, etc)
  8. 8. 1b) Power + Cooperation Not all cooperation is pretty [link] ‘Hegemon’s prerogative’:  Selective policy engagement (‘cherry-picking’ responsibilities)  Emphasise conflictive or cooperative face of interaction  Agenda of basin hegemon (bully or leader) followed… while alternatives offered by non-hegemons are ignored as not ‘pragmatic’ or ‘realistic’ (e.g. Bangladesh, Palestine… ) … hurried diplomacy can lead to perpetuation of conflict Zeitoun, Mirumachi, Warner (2011)
  9. 9. 1b) Power + Cooperation Effective diplomacy requires:  ‘Cooperation’to be evaluated in the specific political context  Confronting power and power asymmetry a) Influencing Power (moving from basin bully to basin leader)  Positive-sum outcomes, benefit-sharing, etc Sadoff and Grey (2002)  seek standards, not just political pragmatism Phillips and Woodhouse (2010) b) Challenging Power  Level the players  Level the playing field Zeitoun and Jägerskog (2011)
  10. 10. 1c) Levelling  Level the players e.g. Capacity-building  especially negotiations and lawyers (not just techno-managerial capacity)  Level the playing field Objective Standards (to inform treaties): International Water Law  1997 UN Watercourses Convention ‘no significant harm’; ‘prior notification’; ‘equitable and reasonable use’ In absence of agreed standards and principles, space for effective diplomacy is closed down
  11. 11. 2Tigris & Euphrates
  12. 12. Tigris and Euphrates Turkey SyriaDevelopment context:- Abstractions upstream Iran- effect on livelihoods (&ecosystems) With uncoordinated upstream ‘development’:Political context: is this the future also of Cambodia, Egypt, Bangladesh?- Turkey as Basin Leader or Basin Bully?- Tri-lateral committee… often bi-lateral- talk of benefit-sharing, ‘oil for water’,joint training, etc (soft power)- How effective is the cooperation?Interventions by UNDP, UNESCO, others:- Levelling the players without levelling theplaying field? Iraq UN-IWTFI 2011 (Walther Case- What standards are brought to the table(along with inducements)?
  13. 13. 3Policy Responses
  14. 14. Policy Responses (last slide!)1. Ask who says Power and Norms do NOT matter (i.e. who benefits from status quo)?POWER matters  look for evidence of and interpret  good analysis must incorporate soft power  interventions must confront a) Influencing Power  moving from basin bully to basin leaderNORMS matter  interventions require a benchmark b) Challenging Power  Level the players  Level the playing field m.zeitoun@uea.ac.uk
  15. 15. ReferencesKalbhenn A and Bernaeur T forthcoming International Water Cooperation and Conflict: A New Events Dataset.Mirumachi N and Allan J A 2007 Revisiting transboundary water governance: power, conflict cooperation and the politicaleconomy. Proceedings from CAIWA International Conference on Adaptive and Integrated Water Management: Coping withScarcity, 12 - 15 November 2007. Basel, Switzerland.Phillips D and Woodhouse M 2010 Benefit Sharing in the Nile River Basin: Emerging Strategies for Fresh Water Use at theCountry and Selected Sub-basin Levels, as Revealed by the Trans-boundary Waters Opportunity Analysis. Nile Basin Initiative,Socio-economic Development and Benefit Sharing component, Windhoek.Sadoff C W and Grey D 2002 Beyond the river: the benefits of cooperation on international rivers. Water Policy 4 389-403.UN-IWTFI 2011 Managing Change in the Marshlands: Iraqs Critical Challenge. United Nations White Paper. United NationsIntegrated Water Task Force for Iraq.Wolf A T 2007 Shared Waters: Conflict and Cooperation. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 241-269.Zeitoun M and Warner J 2006 Hydro-Hegemony: A Framework for Analysis of Transboundary Water Conflicts. Water Policy 8435-460.Zeitoun M and Mirumachi N 2008 Transboundary water interaction I: Reconsidering conflict and cooperation. InternationalEnvironmental Agreements 8 297 - 316.Zeitoun M and Jägerskog A 2011 Addressing Power Asymmetry: How Transboundary Water Management May Serve to ReducePoverty. Report No. 29. Stockholm International Water Institute., Stockholm.Zeitoun M, Mirumachi N and Warner J 2011 Transboundary water interaction II: Soft power underlying conflict and cooperation.International Environmental Agreements 11 159 - 178.

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