WPR Feature Issue: The Blue Planet

For those of you who enter the site through the blog, I want to call your attention to the latest WPR feature issue, The Blue Planet: Water and Geopolitics, which just went live today. It’s a look at the way freshwater and maritime resources are likely to impact international relations. Here’s a hint: scarcity can drive cooperation as much as conflict, and competition is very likely to take place in the context of multilateral treaties and conventions. Here’s Aaron Wolf, from “Troubled Waters: Conflict and Cooperation Over Shared Rivers“:

Water is a vital resource for which there is no substitute, onethat ignores political boundaries and has conflicting demands on itsuse. In the international realm, these problems are compounded by thefact that the international law that governs water is poorly developed,contradictory, and unenforceable. Soit is little wonder that water is being portrayed not only as a causeof armed conflict in the past, but as the resource which will bringcombatants to the battlefield in the 21st century.

The only problem with these theories is a complete lack of evidence.

Consider it intellectual ammo for the next time someone starts going on about “Water Wars!”

There’s also Caitlyn Antrim on “Russia and the Changing Geopolitics of the Arctic” (hint: think Panama Canal, only colder), and John Daly on “Naval Choke Points and Command of the Sea.” Check it out, they’re all well worth it.