Power Asymmetry and Negotiations in International River Basins

Power Asymmetry and Negotiations in International River Basins © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/157180609X432851 International Negotiation 14 (2009) 329–360 brill.nl/iner Power Asymmetry and Negotiations in International River Basins Shlomi Dinar * Department of International Relations, Florida International University 3000 NE 151st Street, Academic I, North Miami, FL 33181, USA (E-mail: dinars@fi u.edu) Received 17 May 2008; accepted 13 November 2008 Abstract Realist thinkers traditionally argue that when the upstream state is the river basin’s hegemon, cooperation is least likely to materialize. Conversely, when the downstream state is the basin’s hegemon, cooperation is likely to ensue, yet the agreement is often imposed and shaped along the interests of the stronger party. Implied in both scenarios is that the otherwise weaker riparian, in aggregate power terms, is not in a posi- tion to achieve its aims and satisfy its needs in an optimal fashion. Its capabilities are inferior to those of its adversary. In eff ect, it has little alternative but to accept the desires of the stronger riparian. By consid- ering a set of international water agreements and hydro-political contexts, this article challenges the real- ist conception of power in international river basins. Particularly, it demonstrates that otherwise weaker states may infl uence the hydro-political http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Negotiation Brill

Power Asymmetry and Negotiations in International River Basins

International Negotiation, Volume 14 (2): 329 – Jan 1, 2009

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1382-340X
eISSN
1571-8069
D.O.I.
10.1163/157180609X432851
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/157180609X432851 International Negotiation 14 (2009) 329–360 brill.nl/iner Power Asymmetry and Negotiations in International River Basins Shlomi Dinar * Department of International Relations, Florida International University 3000 NE 151st Street, Academic I, North Miami, FL 33181, USA (E-mail: dinars@fi u.edu) Received 17 May 2008; accepted 13 November 2008 Abstract Realist thinkers traditionally argue that when the upstream state is the river basin’s hegemon, cooperation is least likely to materialize. Conversely, when the downstream state is the basin’s hegemon, cooperation is likely to ensue, yet the agreement is often imposed and shaped along the interests of the stronger party. Implied in both scenarios is that the otherwise weaker riparian, in aggregate power terms, is not in a posi- tion to achieve its aims and satisfy its needs in an optimal fashion. Its capabilities are inferior to those of its adversary. In eff ect, it has little alternative but to accept the desires of the stronger riparian. By consid- ering a set of international water agreements and hydro-political contexts, this article challenges the real- ist conception of power in international river basins. Particularly, it demonstrates that otherwise weaker states may infl uence the hydro-political

Journal

International NegotiationBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: INTERNATIONAL WATER; STRATEGIC INTERACTION; CONFLICT; NEGOTIATION; ASYMMETRY; COOPERATION

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