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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2000 → Water politics and national security in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin

University of Alabama (2000)

Water politics and national security in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin

Freeman, Kevin Scott

Titre : Water politics and national security in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin

Auteur : Freeman, Kevin Scott

Université de soutenance : University of Alabama

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2000

In the arid Tigris-Euphrates Basin, water is a scarce resource. As that scarcity becomes more acute, the possibility exists that Turkey, Syria, and Iraq could come to blows over water. Rapid population growth, inefficient methods of water harvesting, and massive water development plans are placing considerable strain on the existing water supply, and in order to avoid conflict, an effective water-sharing measure is an immediate necessity. However, it is difficult to isolate water issues in the region because they are so intricately tied to disputes over geography, national security, agriculture, and the environment. As such, a multidisciplinary approach must be taken both to give an effective analysis of water as it pertains to national security, and to provide potential solutions for overcoming water disputes therein. Realism must be taken into account because it defines the state as the most important entity in international affairs and emphasizes the role of power in determining outcomes. Geopolitics must be considered because natural resources, ecosystems, and geography are paramount to any discussion about water scarcity, and the relationship between geography and power is key to the effective analysis of this particular case study. Game theory and expected utility theory are used to tie these two schools of thought together. An analysis of international law, especially as it pertains to water resources, is necessary to determine what precedent has been set in the past. Finally, regime theory must be included because it presents possibilities as to what sorts of multilateral agreements could lessen the tensions between the riparians and pave the way for a permanent water-sharing plan. This dissertation finds that without Turkish cooperation, any water-sharing arrangement in the region is doomed to fail. Turkey is the most powerful state in the region in political, economic, and geographic terms, and participating in a watersharing agreement would undermine that power and thus not be in Turkey’s best interest. Therefore, finding an incentive for Turkey to participate in negotiations is an exceedingly difficult task, but one that must be considered if a water agreement in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin is to become a reality

Mots clés : International relations, Syria, Turkey, Water politics, International law, Social sciences Iraq, National security, Tigris-Euphrates River Basin

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Page publiée le 3 mars 2015, mise à jour le 29 octobre 2018