The geopolitics of water in the Middle East: fantasies and realities

Selby, Jan (2005) The geopolitics of water in the Middle East: fantasies and realities. Third World Quarterly, 26 (2). pp. 329-349. ISSN 0143-6597 (Print), 1360-2241 (Online)

Full text not available from this repository.


Most expert and public discourse on Middle Eastern water politics holds that water scarcities are of great, if often under-recognised, geopolitical importance. Pessimists and optimists alike tend to assume that water has, or soon will have, profound geopolitical implications. In this paper I argue to the contrary. Specifically, I contend that water problems should neither be understood in naturalistic nor in liberal-technical terms, but instead as questions of political economy; that water is structurally insignificant within the political economy of the modern Middle East; that in consequence water is generally unimportant as a source of inter-state conflict and co-operation; and that, notwithstanding this, water supplies are a crucial site and cause of local conflicts in many parts of the region. I submit also that given the worsening state of economic development within the Middle East, these local conflict dynamics are likely to further deteriorate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 6 August 2006.
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Jan Selby
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:26
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2015 16:25
📧 Request an update