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Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict [Paperback]

by Mark Zeitoun
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

December 15, 2011 184885997X 978-1848859975
Power and Water in the Middle East provides a powerful new perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli water conflict. Adopting a new approach to understanding water conflict - hydro-hegemony - the author shows the conflict to be much more deeply entrenched than previously thought and reveals how existing tactics to control water are leading away from peace and towards continued domination and a squandering of this vital resource. Existing approaches tend to play down the negative effects of non-violent water conflict, and what is presented as co-operation between countries often hides an underlying state of conflict between them. The new analytical framework of hydro-hegemony exposes the hidden dynamics of water conflict around the world and yields critical insights into the Middle East water problem. This important work will interest researchers, professionals, and policy makers involved with the politics of the Middle East and with water conflict more generally.

Frequently Bought Together

Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict + The Atlas of Water, Second Edition: Mapping the World's Most Critical Resource
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Editorial Reviews


"A compelling story of state-building, inter-state competition, and the central role that water plays in state development." - Water Alternatives

"Washes away another colorful colonial myth and reveals a history of squandered resources, domestic injustice, and regional belligerence... Zeitoun's meticulous investigation of the conflict over water in the region is a convincing read ... it remains essential reading for anybody working on resource management through government ministries, national agencies, and NGOs in the region." - Arab Studies Journal

About the Author

Mark Zeitoun is a water engineer with more than a decade of experience in conflict and post conflict zones, including the Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Chad, and the Republic of Congo.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (December 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184885997X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848859975
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The waters of the Jordan Basin attract a great deal of analysis as so much is expected of them. In 1948 there were about three million people living in the Jordan Basin. By the early twenty-first century there were about eighteen millions. It is remarkable that water wars have not been a constant and high profile feature of the international relations of this spectacularly conflictual region.

There has been armed conflict over water. In the 1962-1964 period Syrian artillery stopped Israel from constructing its water carrier from the chosen site on the upper Jordan. In the same period Israeli artillery and jets stopped Syria from constructing a diversion from the Banias tributary in Golan to the Yarmuk. Since then there has been no inter-state armed conflict over water. Not in the Jordan Basin. Not in the Middle East. Not anywhere in the world. States do not go to war over water. The absence of armed conflict does not, however, mean that there is no conflict. This message is the main and very influential insight of Mark Zeitoun's excellent study.

The basin has enough water to underpin water and food self-sufficiency for only about three millions. By the mid-1960s the population of the basin had reached about eight millions. This inadequacy of water resources water has not proved to be a high politics issue despite its elemental role for society and economies. Other challenges rank much higher for the political leaders of the basin. The reason the tension over water has intensified is because all five economies in the basin have experienced periods of mass immigration - sometimes wanted and planned. But more usually it was the result of political dislocations within the basin.
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