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University of Tampere (2019)

Water Diplomacy in Central Asia : Discourse Analysis of the Rogun Dam

Hermano, Yesselin

Titre : Water Diplomacy in Central Asia : Discourse Analysis of the Rogun Dam

Auteur : Hermano, Yesselin

Université de soutenance : University of Tampere

Grade : Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change 2019

Résumé partiel
Water related conflicts are likely to increase due to global warming and population growth. The effects are greatly impacting regions such as Central Asia, where the territory is divided between upstream and downstream countries. Here, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been disagreeing on the management of transboundary water since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and, in 2016, Tajikistan started to build the Rogun dam. The energy that will be produced from the dam will help Tajikistan to be independent from Uzbekistan’s imported petroleum resources. However, constructing the dam means decreasing the water intake of Uzbekistan, which can affect greatly the agriculture production of the country, the environment and the inhabitants living next to the water source. Thus, the relation between the two states have tightened up.

The purpose of this research is to study the Rogun dam case through the water diplomacy framework (WDF). The framework studies the complexities of water problems in the context of possible conflicting relations between entities that are involved in the transboundary water management. Using the WDF as an analytical tool, the research seeks to identify elements that can contribute to the political stability and peace between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

As discursive elements play a key role in diplomacy, discourse analysis was chosen as the method used to study the speeches and the official statements that are revolting around the Rogun dam project. The coding process is based on the elements of the WDF : values, interests and tools. The analysis involved categorizing the recurrent discourses used by the presidents of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which led to understand their representations of the Rogun dam. From Tajikistan’s perspective, the following representations were identified : strength, symbol of the country, independency, energy supplier and national investment. From Uzbekistan’s perspective, the following were identified : political instrument, high-risk construction, water security and environmental problem, distrust but a possible point of reconciliation


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