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Troubled Waters?: Explaining The Role of Water Scarcity in Communal Conflict
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Using data on communal violence across the globe from 1990-2010, this study provides one of the first large-N studies to explore the relationship between relative water scarcity and communal conflict. It contends that relative water scarcity, i.e. the percentage of the population excluded from access to water, increases the likelihood of communal conflict via collectively experienced grievances, which facilitate mobilization. Yet, it suggests that this effect might be conditional on the level of political horizontal inequality and the fairness of legal institutions. The results show that in countries where parts of the population are excluded from access to water, communal conflict is up to 2036% more likely. The effect is even higher, when parts of the population are actively politically discriminated. However,contrary to what I expected, it appears that the conflict-inducing effect of water scarcity also increases when legal institutions are fair. Additionally, I find that both political horizontalinequality and legal fairness are statistically significant predictors of communal conflict.Nonetheless, I suggest that all findings should be seen with caution due to data restrictions.Particularly more in-depth case studies and disaggregated data are needed to better model the relationship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
water, water conflicts, communal conflict, grievances, horizontal inequality, political power, legal institutions, legal fairness
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294702OAI: diva2:931232
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-05-26 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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Saavedra-Lux. 2016. Water Scarcity and Communal Conflict(1765 kB)10 downloads
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