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Anthropocentric Hydro Politics? Key Developments in the Analysis of International Transboundary Water Politics and Some Suggestions for Moving Forward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Procedia
Issue number0

King's Authors


The purpose of this paper is to review the key analytical developments in international trans-boundary water politics and to shed light on the important, but overlooked, issue of ecosystems. The scholarship has gained greater breadth than the narrowly focused ‘water war’ discussion of two decades ago. The understanding of power and power relations has given greater nuance to why and how conflict and cooperation occur in international trans-boundary river basins. A new conceptual approach, the Transboundary Waters Interaction Nexus (TWINS), is discussed briefly to show how the analysis of coexisting conflict and cooperation provides an insight into the cross-sector linkages of water and the resulting interests and motives governing water use and allocation. However, it is argued that much of the literature is anthropocentric and frames the natural environment through a human lens. This paper calls for more attention to the ways in which the analytical framework on trans-boundary water interaction can include ecosystems as legitimate users. The paper concludes with some suggestions for future research and policy discussions.

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