Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database | Publications

Allouche, Jeremy. 2005. Water Nationalism: an Explanation of the Past and Present Conflicts in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent? . Universite de Geneve. Ph.D. dissertation. [PDF file]


This thesis aims at understanding the causes of transboundary water conflicts. One of the main arguments is that water-related conflicts are not caused by natural features but rather by the subjective vision human beings have of a specific water-related threat. In the hydropolitics literature, this aspect has not been taken into account. In most cases, it is the scarcity argument, which has been put forward as a main cause in explaining these conflicts.

The major hypothesis of this thesis is that nation-making and state building may be seen as main structural factors in explaining the increasing likelihood of water-related conflicts in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. This thesis shows how these two processes have intensified the sense of appropriation of water and how, water, like land, become an integral part of national identity