International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

International Water Conflict and Cooperation: The Role of Power Relations among Riparians
Danijela Voza, Milovan Vuković, Lisa Carlson, Dragoljub B. Djordjević

This paper analzyes a special kind of an environmental conflict – water disputes over international fresh water resources. In order to present a thorough explanation of this phenomenon, the paper discusses the Turkish-Syrian water conflict through following variables: (1) type of conflict (strategic versus symbolic); (2) structural variables that include both (a) regional power distribution between disputants and regional countries, and, (b) issue-power distribution; and (3) linkage variables that include a number of tactics to tie a simple water dispute to other issue/issues. It was found that Turkey, although it has maintained the power dominance in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin, tends toward a voluntary form of cooperation. The cooperative behavior of Turkey and Syria in water resource policy has been attributed to the Syrian and Turkish successful use of credible linkages, and to the mostly strategic character of the conflict rather than to Turkey’s hegemonic status.

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