3.2.5 → Wasserknappheit und kriegerische Konflikte

(Christiane Fröhlich)

3.2.5 → Water scarcity and violent conflict

(Christiane Fröhlich & Ulrich Ratsch)

Water scarcity and violent conflict:

The concept of Environmental Security, emerging at the end of the Cold War period, has prompted different schools of thought. One establishes a direct causality between resource scarcity and military conflict; for water as a resource, this means that water scarcity leads to migration, social deprivation, possibly even state failure and consequently to violent conflict.

Another school considers this causal chain not only questionable, but potentially dangerous, since such generalisation renders the concept imprecise and therefore useless. The latter school’s focus lies on the role of political and economic factors in addition to the impact of resource scarcity in the emergence of violent conflict. The following article outlines the main schools and their respective focus and sketches a number of existing conflicts over water in different areas of the world