Water: Conflict and Cooperation
- Stefan Döring, PhD Candidate
Main and assistant supervisors
- 2015 - 2021
The dissertation project addresses the role of water for conflictual or peaceful interactions between non-state actors. Water is the single most important resource for human development with numerous uses through direct consumption, agriculture, sanitation or power generation, among others. Global demand for water is estimated to grow with 55 percent by the year 2050. Recent reports on 282 large water basins across the world, found that by 2050, 1.8 billion more people will be living in regions with at least moderate water stress; with Africa being affected the most. These regions or sub-regions include places that have witnessed several incidents of armed conflict and the same regions are also prone to future disputes. Resulting stress on water or river basins will not only affect agriculture and businesses, but, moreover, it will have sincere consequences for communities that already now lack sufficient water access.
This research uses geo-referenced conflict and water data, mostly covering Africa and the Middle East. A particular focus of this work lies in improving conflict analysis by utilizing insights from hydrology. The research deals with water as a potential source for violent conflict between non-state groups, e.g. in communal disputes or fighting between rebel groups. But the project also examines where water is used to cooperate peacefully.
- Döring, S., (2020). Come rain, or come wells: How access to groundwater affects communal violence. Political Geography, Volume 76, 102073.
- Grech-Madin, C., Döring, S., Kim, K., Swain, A. (2018). Negotiating Water across Levels: A Peace and Conflict “Toolbox” for Water Diplomacy. Journal of Hydrology, 559: 100-109
Working papers with conference presentations
Spillover of Communal Violence
- International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, Honolulu, HI, 2020
- ISA Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, 2019
- European Peace Science Conference, Verona, Italy, 2018
Sub-National Water Cooperation
- International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding, Irvine, CA
- Bi-Annual Conference of Peace Research in Sweden, Lund, Sweden, 2018
- Sustain. Ecosystems Seminar (SIPRI and World Bank), Stockholm World Water Week, 2018
- ISA Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, 2018
Water Scarcity and Non-State Conflict
- Development Studies Day, Uppsala, 2017
- Mixed Methods Workshop (AFK Methoden), Mannheim, Germany, 2017
- Conflict Research Society Annual Conference, Oxford, UK, 2017
- European Peace Science Conference, Antwerp, Belgium, 2017
- ISA Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD, 2017
Main financial support
This project is part of the Research School on International Water Cooperation in close partnership with the UNESCO Category II Centre on International Water Cooperation, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).