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Authors

James Kraska

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The disciplines of international law and international relations have proceeded independently, as well as in collaboration, to examine the role of international rules in the modern world. The relatively recent concept of environmental security-that military security is linked to, or even dependent upon, environmental quality-has become an especially prominent theme amenable to interdisciplinary inquiry. Freshwater is perhaps the key to environmental sustainability throughout much of the world, and resource competition throughout international river basins can be acute. International law and international relations scholars have developed a striking correlation between insufficient quantity and quality of freshwater, and increased international tension and war, especially along international rivers. Israeli and Arab competition for access to Jordan River water exemplifies this model This Article offers a different lens through which to view transboundary river agreements by introducing their role as CBMs; the "spillover" effects of these agreements can reduce tension and help to prevent war throughout the river basin. The agreements do so by serving as a mechanism for substantive and procedural compliance, creating healthy monitoring and verification regimes, and by weaving stakeholders among competing epistemological communities such as law, engineering, economics, security, and non-governmental organizations, into a single, focused network. The direct and collateral benefits of the experience of the Ganges and Indus agreements serve as compelling examples by which the parties turned the traditional environmental security model on its head. These findings suggest that the pursuit of sustainable development generates security, and that security is not a precursor to sustainable development.

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Law Commons

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