Integrating socio-hydrology, and peace and conflict research

Journal article

Döring, Stefan; Kyungmee Kim & Ashok Swain (2024) Integrating socio-hydrology, and peace and conflict research, Journal of Hydrology 633 (131000).

Read the article here (Open Access)

Socio-hydrology strives to incorporate 'the social' into the understanding of hydrological processes, aiming to enrich the analysis of water systems by considering human interactions. While there is a broader interest in integrating socio-political processes into hydrology, our paper specifically emphasizes the significant contributions of peace and conflict research to understanding the complex social dynamics surrounding water. We conduct a brief review of key literature on interstate water sharing, international norms on water, and domestic water disputes, drawing extensively from empirical studies within peace and conflict research—a field with a rich tradition of examining the interplay of water systems and social dynamics. Building on this foundation, we propose ways to weave insights from peace research, especially environmental peacebuilding, into the realm of socio-hydrology. We also highlight the crucial role of power, politics, and social factors in shaping water-related interactions and conflicts. By fostering a dialogue between socio-hydrology and peace and conflict research, we advocate for a more nuanced understanding of water management and governance. This interdisciplinary approach, we argue, is essential for promoting sustainable and equitable water use, and for addressing the challenges posed by water-related conflicts in a rapidly changing global context.

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