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Why states cooperate over shared water: The water negotiations in the Jordan River Basin
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this thesis is on foreign-policy decision-making in circumstances of water scarcity. In particular the study focuses on how the issue of water has been treated in the interstate negotiations within the Peace Process between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and Jordan. It also analyses the implementation phase. The aim of this study is to analyse why and under what conditions co-operation has taken place and how it has functioned in the water sector. As such the study moves beyond the vast quantitative material which states that transboundary water co-operation does occur by exploring why co-operation has occurred in the Jordan River Basin.

Based on an overall actor-structure framework the factors deemed to be important in affecting the process and outcome are identified. The development of a shared system of norms, rules and procedures for how to manage the water resource are seen as a vital explanatory variable for the water co-operation in the Jordan River Basin. It is concluded that the water negotiations, both between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and Jordan have been intimately linked to the other issues on the negotiation table. Further-more, it is concluded that water has been sub-ordinate to other politically more salient questions in the negotiations.

The thesis contributes to the body of research on water in the Jordan River Basin in three ways. First, it provides and empirical overview of the implementation process of the water elements of the Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan and of article 40 (which deals with water) of the Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Second, the thesis has analysed the role that scientific experts play in the water negotiations. Expert advice has been used in the negotiations and can be said to be important in that it reduces uncertainty for decision-makers as well as provide tools with which to legitimise political decisions. Third, the thesis contributes to the understanding of why the parties in the Jordan River Basin have chosen co-operative strategies rather than resorting to conflictual behaviour to handle their shared waters. Of key importance in this respect is that shared water is an interdependent resource. Thus mutual dependence on a shared resource stimulates and reinforces the need for cooperation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2003. , 192 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 281
Keyword [en]
Negotiation, transboundary, Palestine, water, regime, conflict, cooperation, discourse, experts, risk, Israel, Jordan
Keyword [sv]
Palestinakonflikten, vattenförsörjning, mellanöstern
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4711ISBN: 91-7373-749-6OAI: diva2:20723
Public defence
2003-11-14, Elysion, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2003-11-20 Created: 2003-11-20 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Jägerskog, Anders
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