The weaponization of water in intercommunal conflicts
Mounting water scarcity has intensified the risk of actors weaponizing water resources and water infrastructure like wells and dams to harm their opponents in conflicts. However, the availability and quality of water is location specific. It is just one determinant among other context specific factors of social systems that can promote or prevent the weaponization of water. The occurrence of water-related conflict strongly depends on context-specific socioeconomic and political determinants such as pre-existing societal cleavages or recent conflict, high agriculture dependence, weak state capacity and high political exclusion. The proposed research project investigates which and how socioeconomic and political conditions lead to a weaponization of water during intercommunal conflict. Based on a pilot global mapping study of conflicts in which weaponization of water occurred in water scarce regions, the project conducts a comparative case study of intercommunal conflicts in the state of Maharashtra in India. Throughout this second largest state of the country, structural similarities – water scarcity, demographic development and cultural aspects – can be observed. However, only some state divisions are affected by the use of water as a weapon. This provides a variance on the dependent variable – the use of water as a weapon – and the ground to explore the determinants of this variation, employing a mixed-methods design. Empirically, the project develops theory and hypotheses on the use of water as a weapon. This could allow to spot populations at risk and to pinpoint promising solutions to mitigate this water-related security threat.
- An Ancient Practice with a New Face | 2020
Kohler, Christina (2020): An Ancient Practice with a New Face. The Use of Water as a Weapon in Times of Climate Change, PRIF Spotlight 9/2020, Frankfurt/M.
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- Climate Change makes the Weaponization of Resources more effective than ever before | 2020
Kohler, Christina (2020): Climate Change makes the Weaponization of Resources more effective than ever before, Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Vereinten Nationen e.V., 17.3.2020.
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- Understanding environmental terrorism in times of climate change: Implications for asylum seekers in Germany | 2019
Kohler, Christina/dos Santos, Carlos Denner/Bursztyn, Marcel (2019): Understanding environmental terrorism in times of climate change: Implications for asylum seekers in Germany, in: Research in Globalization, 1:1, DOI: 10.1016/j.resglo.2019.100006.
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