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Döring, Stefan
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Döring, S. (2020). Come rain, or come wells: How access to groundwater affects communal violence. Political Geography, 76, Article ID 102073.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Come rain, or come wells: How access to groundwater affects communal violence
2020 (English)In: Political Geography, ISSN 0962-6298, E-ISSN 1873-5096, Vol. 76, article id 102073Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article empirically analyzes the relationship between groundwater scarcity and incidences of communal violence. Case studies suggest that appropriating water is more likely when resource scarcities are not effectively mitigated and where property rights are disputed. Yet, covering water more broadly remains piecemeal in quantitative research on communal conflict. While water scarcity features in large-N literature on climate variability and nonstate conflicts, such studies rely heavily on rainfall data which covers only one aspect of the hydrological cycle. Employing precipitation data alone neglects the use of groundwater, an important factor for drought resilience and the source for 50% of global drinking water. While rainfall remains key for agriculture, pastoralists and smallscale farmers in particular rely on groundwater as a buffer during dry periods. Thus, analyses on water scarcity and conflict ought to combine measures for groundwater, surface water, and precipitation. While controlling for other sources of water, the lack of groundwater access is hypothesized to increase incidences of violent communal conflict. The effect of groundwater on communal violence is also argued to vary with the presence of drought, low rainfall, in densely populated areas, and with state presence. These propositions are tested through large-N analyses using previously not utilized data on water availability with incidence data on violent conflict for Africa and the Middle East (1990–2014). The results show that lacking access to groundwater is associated with a higher risk of communal violence. Further, the effect of groundwater access on communal violence is conditioned by precipitation levels as well as population density. The results also suggest that the effect of groundwater on violence is smaller in areas with higher state presence.

National Category
Political Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395188 (URN)10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.102073 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved
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
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negotiating Water across Levels: A Peace and Conflict “Toolbox” for Water Diplomacy
2018 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 559, p. 100-109Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As a key policy tool, water diplomacy offers greater political engagement in the cooperative management of shared water. A range of initiatives has been dedicated to this end, almost invariably oriented around the interactions of nation states. Crucially, however, practitioners of water diplomacy also need to address water governance at sub-state levels. As a political, multi-level, and normative field, peace and conflict research offers a pluralism of approaches designed to bring actors together at all levels. Drawing upon this research, this paper offers new focal points for water diplomacy that can enhance its policy effectiveness and enrich its underlying academic current. More specifically, it presents three hitherto undervalued tools for water diplomacy: at the interstate level, to uncover the rich body of political norms that bind states to shared understandings of acceptable practice around water. At the intrastate level, to incorporate ethnography of water users and civil society groups’ responses to state-led waterworks projects, and at the communal level to employ disaggregated georeferenced data on water resources in conflict-prone areas. Taken together, these analytical tools provide a multi-faceted political gauge of the dynamics of water diplomacy, and add vital impetus to develop water diplomacy across multiple levels of policy engagement.

Water diplomacy, Peace, Conflict, Policy tools
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-342646 (URN)10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.02.008 (DOI)000430902000009 ()
Available from: 2018-02-22 Created: 2018-02-22 Last updated: 2018-07-03Bibliographically approved

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