The CSS Blog Network

Water Wars? Think Again

Refugees collect water, courtesy of Oxfam East Africa/flickr

This article was originally published April 15 2014 by New Security Beatby, the blog of the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) at the Wilson Center.

The global water wars are almost upon us!

At least that’s how it seems to many. The signs are troubling: Egypt and Ethiopia have recently increased their aggressive posture and rhetoric over the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the headwaters of the Blue Nile, Egypt’s major artery since antiquity. India continues to build new dams that are seen by its rival Pakistan as a threat to its “water interests” and thus its national security. Turkey, from its dominant position upstream, has been diverting the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and increasing water stress in the already-volatile states of Iraq and Syria.

It has been claimed for decades that a confluence of factors, including water scarcity, societal unrest, and strategic maneuvering, will inevitably push states and other actors to act aggressively, perhaps even violently, to secure precious water resources. So are we finally witnessing the first flashes of the coming age of water wars? » More

Mediation Perspectives: Fighting ‘Feminist Fatigue’

Photo: Nancy Pelosi/flickr

Despite decades of advocacy, why are women still so poorly represented at the peace table? In 2012, UN Women reported that women accounted for just four per cent of participants in 31 major peace processes between 1992 and 2011. Why is this number so low despite international mechanisms like United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women?

A partial answer to this question may be found in the shortcomings of certain approaches to promoting women’s rights.  In particular, the effectiveness of some strands of academic and policy literature on women, peace and security (WPS), and related advocacy campaigns that push for greater representation and participation of women at the peace table, can be questioned. » More

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