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Universiteit Leiden (2020)

Instrumentalizing water in conflict : A hydro-hegemonic advantage in Middle Eastern warfare tactics ?

Elfa García, Gerard

Titre : Instrumentalizing water in conflict : A hydro-hegemonic advantage in Middle Eastern warfare tactics ?

Auteur : Elfa García, Gerard

Université de soutenance : Universiteit Leiden

Grade : Master thesis | Crisis and Security Management (MSc) 2020

Résumé
Begun in 2011, the Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that extended across the Middle East. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people died, millions were displaced, and the region became an international hotspot of insurgent groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Climatic changes, which led to increased temperatures, drought and unpredictable weather patterns, further accelerated the uprisings. Water, also known as the ‘new oil, became a key resource of dispute in conflict related incidents. Iraq, Syria and Yemen which had been facing a water crisis, saw militant groups and the state’s itself utilizing the natural resource for strategic military and geopolitical advantages in the area. The conflict between Palestinians and Israeli’s also demonstrated the fragility and intensity over water, in which its dominance seemed to be a triggering factor in the ongoing clashes. This paper will thus examine the instrumentalization of water in conflict by looking at the variety of ways it can be utilized as a tool of war and whether hydro-diplomatic measures and international treaties around water resources, systems and infrastructures are competent enough to prevent future water related infringements.

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